A short country profile for science and technology
3. The National S&T System
. National policies for science, technology and innovation
. The Universities are a cornerstone of the S&T system
. Science and Technology (S&T) and Research and Development (R&D)
. Other actors in the scientific landscape
5. S&T Cooperation Roadmap: 2010-2011 96 KB
2. General Background
Argentina has a population estimated at 39.9 million people in 2006. Its territory in the Southern cone of South America is 2,766,890 km 2, the second largest country in Latin America. Its Exclusive Economic Zone covers 1,159,063 km 2, of which 856,346 km 2 are shelf areas (down to 200 m depth) including a large part of the Patagonian shelf. Its coastline is more than 4,700 km.
Argentina became independent from Spain in 1816. Periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberal parties as well as between civilian and military factions have marked its history. In the post World War II Argentina experienced a long “Peronist era”. In 1976 a brutal military “junta” took the power. Democracy came back only in 1983. Numerous elections since then have underscored Argentina’s progress in democratic consolidation. Over the past decade the country has suffered recurring economic problems of inflation, external debt, capital flight and budget deficit. The country is emerging now from the most severe financial crisis of its recent history, in 2001/02, that led to violent protests and the resignation of several interim presidents. The current President (that is both Head of State and chief of Government) since 10 December 2007 is Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina's 55 th President and only the second female in the top job.
The legislative system is based on a bicameral National Congress (Congreso National) composed of a Senate (72 seats) and a Chamber of Deputies (257 seats). The nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President with approval by the Senate.
According to the UNDP Human Development Indicator Report 2007/8 Argentina is in position 38 out of 177 ranked countries. Adult literacy rate is 97.4% and gross enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education in 2005 was 89.7%. The infant mortality rate is 14.73 per 1,000 live births (Spain 4.37) and life expectancy at birth is 74.9 years (average 2000-2005). The net birth rate is 2.16.
17.4% of the population lived below the poverty line of $2/day in the period 1990-2004. GDP per capita has been growing as a result of the remarkable economic recovery since 2004 and reached $14,280 in 2005 .
Argentina is rich in natural resources. Its industrial base is more diversified than its exports, which are much more focused on the agricultural sector. The GDP composition by sector is: agriculture 9.5%, industry 35.8% and services 54.7%. The total production of electricity in 2004 has been 87.16 billion kWh (Spain 247.3) split as follow: fossil fuel 52.2%, hydro 40.8% nuclear 6.7% and other 0.2% But the security of energy supplies remains a challenge. Main exports partners are Brazil (15.3%), US (10.8%), Chile (10.5%) and China (8.3%). The main imports partners are Brazil (34.6%), US (16.8%), China (5.4%) and Germany (5.3%).
Argentina's carbon emissions grew from 109.7 million tons of CO 2 in 1990 to 141.7 million tons of CO 2 in 2004. That is rank 38. Its stock of carbon in living forest biomass was 2,411 million tons in 2004.
Argentina is a founding member of United Nations and member of numerous UN agencies such as the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Meteorological Organization.
At regional level Argentina is a member of the Organization of American States (OAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Latin-American Economic System (LAES), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Latin-American Integration Association (LAIA), Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL).
Concerning trade agreements Argentina is part of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and MERCOSUR (the agreement that calls for a gradual elimination of tariffs on goods originating in and traded among member states, and the formation of a Common External Tariff (CET).
It is party to the following environmental agreements: The Antarctic Treaty, The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, The Convention on Biological Diversity, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, The United Nations Convention on Desertification, The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, The Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water, The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, The Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 (MARPOL), The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar), The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.