The database of foreign companies in Argentina (1870-1971) is an important resource for analyzing the dynamics of foreign direct investment in the country. Foreign direct investment defines investment made by foreign companies that maintained control of the businesses in Argentina, including typical multinationals that established subsidiaries or offices in the country, free standing companies specifically created for developing business in Argentina and foreign owned and managed companies registered as Argentinian companies.

The « Foreign Companies in Argentina Database FCAD–PICT 2010/0501» contains information on all foreign companies (registered as foreign or registered in Argentina) operating in the country, and takes into account country of origin, date of creation, organizational form, principal activity, type of investment (greenfield, brownfield and joint-venture), social capital, reserves and results, as well as other data such as composition of corporate boards, for the selected years: 1913, 1923, 1930, 1937-8, 1944, 1959-60, 1970-1. On the website, the main information on the companies for each base year is available.

The primary data comes from the processing of the following Primary sources
In order to determine the national or foreign condition of the firms, not only was the ownership of the social capital considered, but also the composition of the board of directors and the managerial control of the company. The identification of foreign firms in 1970-1971 was based on data provided by the Circular B 1150 from the Banco Central, in which the foreign companies registered in the country in 1974 are listed, in accordance with Law 20.557/73 of foreign investments.

All companies authorized to operate within the country were registered for every selected year, with the exception of 1959-1960, in which, due to the enormous amount of companies listed, only firms with capital of over 3 million Argentinian pesos were included.
The data on each firm was completed through a nominal analysis based on various documentary archives, and both published and primary sources, located in local as well as foreign repositories. Detail of the sources and references used can be found in Publications and in Sources and References.

Each company was assigned an alphanumeric code to facilitate easy identification in different years. Firms whose corporate name is in English or French and in Spanish, can be searched for under any of these names.

In the database, searches can be made by name of company, code, date of creation, nationality, activity and social capital in dollars. A specific year of data collection can be searched, and firms can be identified by origin, capital and activity in each of the selected years. A company can also be searched for by name or code and its evolution can be followed over the whole period, within each of the proposed sections.

With regard to the activity developed by the companies, it was decided to use the original description given by the firm at the time of registration in the Corporate Guide. This explains why in some cases the entry is written in English, or in other cases is very lengthy; it is just as it appeared in the original source. This criteria reflects our intention to make available all possible data that could be useful for characterizing the company. In the columns adjacent to the description of activity, we have classified these descriptions according to the categories proposed by the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, Rev.4 (ISIC. Rev. 4), proposed by the United Nations Statistical Commission.

Clasificación de Actividades – Nivel Superior

A Agriculture, forestry and fishing
B Mining and quarrying
C Manufacturing
D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
E Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
F Construction
G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
H Transportation and storage
I Accommodation and food service activities
J Information and communication
K Financial and insurance activities
L Real estate activitiess


The detailed structure with description of activities by branch or division can be found in the United Nations website:

For the conversion of capital from various currencies into US dollars, the exchange rate provided by was used. The rate corresponding to the publication year of the balance sheet was used, as appears in the source.

Despite our best efforts, it is possible that omissions or errors occur. These will be corrected as the data is reviewed and other users of the FCAD (1870-1971) database send us their comments. We therefore ask you to contact us with any comments or suggestions concerning the information on the website.

Citation format: Data obtained from Base de datos de Empresas Extrajeras en Argentina/Foreign Companies in Argentina Database. Norma Lanciotti & Andrea Lluch (2018). Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina (

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