Argentine Foreign Minister Embarks on 10-Day Tour to Boost Trade and Investment

Argentine FM embarks on 10-day tour to China, Europe seeking investment to revive economy amid austerity measures and economic contraction.

Ebenezer Mensah
New Update
Argentine Foreign Minister Embarks on 10-Day Tour to Boost Trade and Investment

Argentine Foreign Minister Embarks on 10-Day Tour to Boost Trade and Investment

Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino set off on a 10-day tour of China, France, Belgium, and Portugal on Sunday, accompanied by a large business delegation. The primary objective of the tour is to seek investment opportunities and strengthen Argentina's trade ties with these countries.

Mondino's first stop will be China, where she is scheduled to meet with officials, commercial businesses, and investors in Beijing and Shanghai from April 28-30. Discussions will focus on the $18-billion currency swap agreement between Argentina and China, which is set to be renewed this year. China is Argentina's second-largest trading partner after Brazil.

Following her visit to China, Mondino will attend a meeting of the OECD Council of Ministers in Paris from May 2-3. Argentina's roadmap for accession to the multilateral body could be announced during this meeting. The Foreign Minister will also meet with the OECD Secretary-General.

In Brussels, Mondino will hold talks with EU officials from May 5-6, including discussions on the stalled EU-Mercosur free-trade deal and bilateral negotiations. The tour will conclude with a visit to Lisbon on May 7, where Mondino will meet with her Portuguese counterpart, the President, and the Prime Minister to discuss diversifying bilateral trade, ongoing cooperation projects, and the potential of renewable energies.

Why this matters: Argentina's economy has been struggling, with economic activity declining for four straight months. The Foreign Minister's trip aims to attract investments to help revitalize the country's economy, which is forecast to contract by 3.5% this year.

The tour comes as Argentina's newly elected president, Javier Milei, implements austerity measures, including lifting price controls, freezing public works, and sharply devaluing the currency. While these measures have helped cool monthly inflation, they have also led to a contraction in economic activity. The government has reported the country's first quarterly fiscal surplus since 2008, which Milei says is key to eradicating inflation. However, economists warn about the sustainability of the fiscal surplus given its impact on economic activity.

Key Takeaways

  • Argentine FM Mondino on 10-day tour to seek investment in China, Europe.
  • Discussions on $18B currency swap with China, Argentina's accession to OECD.
  • Talks with EU on stalled Mercosur trade deal, renewable energy with Portugal.
  • Argentina's economy contracting, new president implements austerity measures.
  • Fiscal surplus reported, but economists warn about its sustainability.