Argentine portThe Argentinian government is cutting import duties by 2% on more than 130 automotive parts to improve the vehicle industry’s competitiveness.

The reduction is intended to help manufacturers of trailers, buses, trucks and agricultural machinery, as well as cars and vans.

“We will continue working on different measures to improve the industry’s competitiveness with technical assistance, financing and the reduction of non-wage tax, logistics and labour costs, especially in relation to the auto part value chain,” said industry secretary Fernando Grasso.

The government’s goals for the country’s car-making sector include strengthening investment, production and exports, while incorporating the development of new electric and hybrid engines and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, he added.

The tariff reduction is covered by a common automotive policy, which also includes Brazil, and runs until June 2020. Brazil has recently announced a series of incentives for its domestic automotive industry, according to the Argentinian ministry.

The cut comes at a time of increasing production in Argentina’s automotive sector. It produced 242,655 vehicles in the first six months of the year compared with 2017, though June’s year-on-year figure was 13.4% lower at 39,420 units, according to industry body ADEFA.

Exports in the first half were up 23.5% to 121,570 and June’s total of 3,193 up 16.2% on the corresponding periods of the previous year.