Inward focus

Published: Thursday 15 July 2004

If a proposed law presented to Argentina's congress is approved, the country's public service companies will have to conduct research on their own instead of relying on imported technical knowledge. The proposal states that every privately held company in the public sector will have to build its own research teams and laboratories.

Before President Carlos Menem took over in 1989, state-owned companies with research facilities supplied all public services. In 1990, full-scale privatisation began and the largest state companies were sold to foreign buyers. Production and distribution of petroleum and natural gas as well as water, electricity and telecommunications utilities went into private hands. Railways, airlines and healthcare followed suit. Soon, all research divisions closed down as private companies sourced new technology from overseas.

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