Argentina seeks strategic cooperation with India

Ambassador of the Argentine Republic, Daniel Chuburu who presented credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on 17 April has all hands full. He is a busy diplomat who has a lot to do during the coming days. Although he considers that the relations with India are very good, there is yet a lot to be achieved. THE BLUE MOON Editor Amit Mittal spoke to him about his plans in his office.

There are a lot of issues that we share with India in the international fora.  For Argentina, India is the sixth most important country, but there is lot more which can be done, he says. What India imports from Argentina are edible oils mainly like soya oil, we have to diversify products. Talk of the large distances between the two countries there are six prominent airlines that connect the two. The world is getting much closer. Unfortunately trade is not reflected in the good political relations. There is need for strategic relations between the two. The two countries must get into sophisticated relationship.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Argentina in November 2019 while the President of Argentina is scheduled to visit India in the first quarter of 2019.

With Argentina in G-20 chair in 2018 it will spur many visits by important Ministers. The most sophisticated job, I consider, is the installation of radio isotopes in Mumbai now. This is the kind of relationship we wish to develop with India. We want to get into radars, space technology and some nuclear areas. Although we have satellites less than India, we can cooperate in the field for example in exchange of parts.

The area of defence is important for us.

We have developed some planes for training purpose and can readily cooperate in avionics.

In addition to the traditional trade, we want more strategic partnership. As we have observed that food and energy security are important to India, we wish to be real partners to India in the two fields. By 2025 India will add 500 million people. Argentina is interested in post crop

Management. “We wish to participate with India in this forward security.” 

“In shale gas we are starting good participation with Indian ONGC. In solar energy there is good investment from India. We want India to help in mining; in lithium and copper mining. The way in which India would be involved is still to be defined.” 

There is a good development in IT as the companies are hiring local population. India has proposed a centre of excellence in IT. Under one scheme four people from Argentina have come to India to be trained in Indian villages.

As far as bilateral trade is concerned, it stands at $3 billion including edible oils which form the largest chunk in bilateral trade between the two countries. Bilateral trade increased from 1700 to 3000 billion USD — a growth of 73 % from 2012 onwards. India has emerged as the most preferred destination for Argentine exports. In fact Argentina ranks 42nd in the group of countries that maintain business relations with India.

Among the Indian companies present in Argentina are TCS, CRISIL, Hero, Bajaj, United Phosphorous limited, Glenmark, Godrej, Sonalika, Punjab Chemicals and Cognizant they focus on IT, agriculture, agrochemicals, energy, mining, pharmacy, cosmetics and vehicle production.

Among the Argentine companies in India are Techint, Rizobachter, Globant and Weizur. INVAP is executing a construction project for a radioisotope production plant in Mumbai.

To promote our culture in India, we are organising a lot of activities from promotion of wine to promotion of tango, participation in film festivals, book fairs and a culinary week in January as we are celebrating 70 years of high level relations with India.

We are interested in promoting tourism from India to Argentina and vice versa. We  are looking at big production houses to shoot in Argentina.

We are also increasing cooperation in sports in India including the establishment of a football super league. Our men’s hockey team is coming to participate in the world championship by the end of the year. A ladies team will participate in fourth edition of Manipur tournament next January. Also a handicap team will come to India in late December   and January.