President Alberto Fernández has agreed to incorporate Argentina into the Belt and Road Initiative, joining 140 countries throughout the world.
This strategic decision will allow the Argentine government to sign different agreements that guarantee financing for investments and works for more than 23.7 billion dollars, a total figure that also includes the various memorandums of understanding between ministries of both countries, and which is the result of meetings between Governors of the Argentine delegation with Chinese companies.
Fernández held a 40 minute meeting this morning at the Great Hall of the People in the city of Beijing, with President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, with whom he agreed to continue the work to deepen the relations of political, commercial, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
The financing will come in two ways: one, already approved for 14 billion dollars under the DECCE (Strategic Dialogue for Economic Cooperation and Coordination) mechanism, which includes 10 infrastructure projects, and a second for some 9.7 billion dollars, which Argentina will present in the Ad Hoc Group created between the two countries to begin work after joining the Belt and Road.
Concrete opportunities will be discussed to promote foreign direct investment from China in Argentina in order to expand Argentina’s exportable supply.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Matters was done between Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and the president of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China, He Lifeng.
In adherence to said Memorandum, 13 different inter-institutional cooperation documents were signed in different fields and between different counterparts, referring to matters such as green development, the digital economy, the space area, technology and innovation, education and university cooperation, agriculture, earth sciences, public media and nuclear energy.
The signing of the MOU of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the presidential visit imply a deepening of the bilateral relationship with the following objectives: financing for infrastructure works; increase in the participation of Argentine suppliers in these works; increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in strategic Argentine sectors such as energy and electromobility; increase Argentina’s exportable supply to China and Asia, tending to reduce the trade deficit with China; and Beijing’s commitment to advance in the sanitary and phytosanitary negotiations and in the qualifications for cold storage and fishing establishments.
The visit comes follows President Fernández’ official visit to Russia which took place directly after a draft deal with the IMF was announced, which has been regarded as a poor outcome for Argentina by leaders within the ruling party. For more on what Fernández told Putin, read here.
More on the Argentine delegation’s three-day visit to China here.
By Kawsachun News with information from Casa Rosada Official Press