One of the largest cities of Latin America, Buenos Aires is Argentina's chief port and its financial, industrial, commercial, and social center. Located on the eastern edge of the Pampa, Argentina's most productive agricultural region, and linked with Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil by a great inland river system, the city is the distribution hub and trade outlet for a vast area. The historical importance of its port, one of the world's busiest, has led the citizens of Buenos Aires to call themselves porteños [people of the port]. Meat and dairy products, hides, wool, flax, and linseed oil are the chief exports. Buenos Aires, the most heavily industrialized city of Argentina, is a major food-processing center, with huge meatpacking and refrigeration plants and flour mills. Other leading industries are metalworking, automobile manufacturing, oil refining, printing and publishing, machine building, and the production of textiles, chemicals, paper, clothing, beverages, and tobacco products. Factories began to move into some of the suburbs in the 1980s.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.