NEW DELHI – Argentina and India signed on Monday 10 agreements for cooperation in the fields of defense, agriculture and energy, during a visit by Argentine President Mauricio Macri to the Asian country.
Macri, on the first day of this three-day visit, also joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) led by India.
Macri and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed progress made in sectors such as nuclear energy, space, commerce, culture, tourism, information technology and agrochemicals, and explored new avenues for cooperation between the two countries.
In a joint press conference after the summit, both leaders underlined how Modi invited the Argentine president during the G20 summit last year in Buenos Aires, leading to the fifth bilateral summit between the two nations, which Macri described as a sign of warmth historically shared between their people.
“Argentina and India share interests and values such as democracy, federalism and multilateralism, both of us are developing economies with vast territories,” said the president of the Latin American nation, while reaffirming his commitment towards working with New Delhi.
Macri’s visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Argentina and India.
The president is accompanied by a strong business delegation of representatives from Small and Medium Enterprises and other businessmen in search of investment partners and trade opportunities with India.
In this regard, Macri spoke of opportunities in the fields of biotechnology, agriculture and energy, especially in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, one of the largest deposits of shale oil and gas in the world.
Moreover, he stressed on the abundance of solar energy in Argentina, as the South American nation joined the ISA – a multilateral initiative launched during COP21 and conceived as a platform of cooperation between developed nations that already possessed solar technology and developing nations.
Macri also offered his condolences to the families of the 42 security forces personnel killed during in an attack in Indian-administered Kashmir on Feb. 14.
“I firmly condemn, like we have been doing since the last three years that we have been in government, all terrorist acts (...) and I am very pleased to be working together to fight this scourge of humanity,” he said.
Modi, on his part, underlined the importance of “south-south” cooperation and asserted that over the last decade, bilateral trade between India and Argentina had doubled to $3 billion annually, and had the potential to grow further.
Even though the two countries boast of strong cooperation, for example in international forums, the Indian prime minister claimed that they have now identified specific avenues for carrying out their international cooperation.
Annual bilateral trade has been a relatively low with the South American nation running a surplus of $1.2 billion.
The sale of soybean oil makes up 90 percent of Argentine exports to the South Asian economic giant.
With a market of 1.3 billion inhabitants, India has become a very attractive country thanks to its rapid GDP growth, which is projected at 7.2 percent for the April 2018 to March 2019 fiscal year.