All three of the leading candidates in Argentina's election race plan to dismantle outgoing President Cristina Fernandez's web of currency and trade controls and clean up government finances to boost the stagnating economy.
Fernandez has ramped up state intervention in the economy during her eight years in power, trying to shore up thinning currency reserves while financing generous subsidies and welfare programs.
The economy grew quickly in the first years of her presidency but it is now teetering on the brink of recession. The currency has slumped on the black market and inflation is running at about 25 percent, according to private estimates.
Economic advisers to the main candidates in the October election told Reuters they plan to liberalize the dollar exchange rate, cut taxes on lucrative grains exports, and move to plug a fiscal deficit and tame inflation.
The consensus on the need for policy changes could further encourage investors who have driven a rally in Argentina's bond and equity markets this year and renewed interest from hedge funds in the country.
The campaign teams differ, however, on the pace and depth of reform.
Mauricio Macri, the pro-business opposition mayor of Buenos Aires who is running a close second place in polls, promises swift changes to win back investor confidence.
Daniel Scioli, the frontrunner for the leftist ruling party's ticket, is more cautious as he targets votes from the Fernandez faithful as well as swing voters opposed to her policies.
And third-placed Sergio Massa, who broke ranks with the president two years ago, pitches himself in the middle.
On currency controls, Miguel Bein, an economic advisor to Scioli, said the first priority will be to ensure that dollars are available to importers as well as foreign companies who have been unable to repatriate profits.
"I would not normalize [the currency market] in a year, but perhaps in two or three," Bein said.
While Scioli talks of "gradualismo", or gradual change, Macri plans faster, more far-reaching reforms and says he would start to lift currency controls on his first day in office.
"We would normalize flows immediately," said Federico Sturzenegger, a Macri advisor who gained repute turning around the previously loss-making Bank of Buenos Aires.
Scioli and Massa both warn a hasty removal of controls would lead to a hemorrhaging of dollars and a spike in inflation that would hit the poor hardest.
Macro's camp disagrees. "You won't need to protect the reserves. Everyone will sell their dollars if they believe the next president's economic program is credible," Sturzenegger said.
Sturzenegger says inflation can be hauled down to 0-4 percent in three years. Bein says single figures are achievable by the end of a first Scioli term.http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/01/argentina-election-economy-idUSL5N0YD4J720150601