Queen Máxima has returned to her home country of Argentina for the first time in her role as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance. Her Majesty was in the Argentinian capital city of Buenos Aires for her two-day trip.
The Dutch Royal House said in a press release, “She will speak about the government’s plans to develop a national strategy for inclusive finance. Better access to financial services can improve people’s economic development.”
They cited the World Bank Group’s statistics that only half of adult Argentinians have a savings account, and most monetary transactions are done through cash. Because of this and the lack of proper financial records, it is difficult for small businesses to be granted a loan to expand their businesses.
Her Majesty participated in a private panel discussion entitled “Challenges to Strengthening and Expanding Financial Inclusion in Argentina” at the office of the United Nations Development Program in the city.
Máxima also returned to her alma mater, The Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina on Tuesday where she gave a speech to the students regarding financial inclusion for development. This was an exclusive event for the students and professors of the university.
During her trip, she has also met with Ricardo Buryaile, Minister of Agroindustry; Federico Sturzenegger, Chairman of the Central Bank of Argentina; Carolina Stanley, Minister of Social Development; and Gabriela Michetti, Vice President of Argentina.
Queen Máxima was at the headquarters of the Ministry of Treasury and Public Finances, Hacienda Palace, to meet with the Minister of the Economy, Alfonso Prat-Gay to discuss the technical support from the UN and the Inter-American Development Bank for financial inclusion and new communication technologies in Argentina.
Her Majesty also met with President Mauricio Macri today at Casa Rosada, who she had previously met at the United Nations Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year.
Afterwards, Máxima and Vice President Gabriela Michetti held a press conference where Her Majesty thanked her home country and the government for welcoming her on her short visit.
Máxima has been to Argentina a number of times before, including a 2005 working visit as a member of the Advisors Group to the UN International Year of Microcredit and a 2008 trip as a member of the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors.
Queen Máxima was born in Buenos Aires on 17 May 1971 as the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta, Minister of Agriculture in the regime of General Jorge Rafael Videla, and María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart.