Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the political, financial, industrial, commercial, and cultural hub of Argentina. Its port is one of the busiest in South America; navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-east Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. As a result it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the south-eastern region of the continent. Tax collection related to the port has caused many political problems in the past. The economy in the city proper alone, measured by Gross Geographic Product (adjusted for purchasing power), totals US$ 84.7 billion (US$ 34,200 per capita) and amounts to nearly a quarter of Argentina’s as a whole. Metro Buenos Aires, according to one well-quoted study, constitutes the 13th largest economy among the world’s cities. The Buenos Aires Human Development Index is likewise high by international standards. The city’s services sector is diversified and well-developed by international standards, and accounts for 76% of its economy (compared to 59% for all of Argentina’s). Advertising, in particular, plays a prominent role in the export of services at home and abroad. The financial and real-estate services sector is the largest, however, and contributes to 31% of the city’s economy. Finance (about a third of this) in Buenos Aires is especially important to Argentina’s banking system, accounting for nearly half the nation’s bank deposits and lending. Nearly 300 hotels and another 300 hostels and bed & breakfasts are licensed for Tourism in Buenos Aires, and nearly half the rooms available were in four-star establishments or higher. Manufacturing is, nevertheless, still prominent in the city’s economy (16%) and, concentrated mainly in the southside, it benefits as much from high local purchasing power and a large local supply of skilled labor as it does from its relationship to massive agriculture and industry just outside the city limits themselves. Construction activity in Buenos Aires has historically been among the most dramatic indicators of national economic fortunes (see table at right), around 3 million m² (32 million ft²) of construction has been authorized annually. The Port of Buenos Aires handles over 11 million revenue tons annually, and Dock Sud, just south of the city proper, handles another 17 million metric tons.