“We are not only about importing cars or exporting apples or pulses. As developing nations, India and Argentina must focus on strengthening strategic relations and co-operation in sensible areas such as agriculture, atomic energy, space research, mining, tourism, infrastructure and traditional medicine such as AYUSH. India and Argentina are respectively the 7th and 8th largest countries in the world. Both the countries will celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relationship next year. Currently, 90% of Argentina’s exports to India comprise of one commodity viz. soya oil.

We are working with India to diversify this trade basket. We are trying to use every single opportunity to build confidence in our relationship by setting up new institutional mechanism. As part of this initiative, the Embassy of Argentina will soon launch a bilateral chamber for agro-products and agro-services in New Delhi and its first Center will be opened in Mumbai,” said H.E. Mr. Daniel Chuburu, Ambassador of Republic of Argentina at an interactive meeting organised by World Trade Center Mumbai on May 24, 2018 at WTC Mumbai.

H.E. Mr. Chuburu further remarked, “I have chosen Maharashtra for my first official tour after assuming office as Ambassador of India in March 2018. This is because many Argentine companies are located in this state and there is tremendous opportunity to strengthen bilateral relationship in this state. Government of Argentina is discussing with Government of India the possibility of launching direct flight service and it is also working on code sharing agreement. I hope the discussion will conclude soon.”

(Left to Right) Mr. Y.R. Warerkar, Executive Director, World Trade Center Mumbai, Ms. Andrea Alba Gonzalez, Deputy Consul of Argentina in Mumbai, H.E. Mr. Daniel Chuburu, Ambassador of Republic of Argentina, Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, World Trade Center Mumbai, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai, Mr. Alejandro Zothner Meyer, Acting Conul General of Argentina in Mumbai at an interactive meeting at WTC Mumbai.

H.E. Mr. Chuburu was in Mumbai for the first time to celebrate the 208th Argentine National Day on May 25. This day commemorates the popular May Revolution in the year 1810 which led to the formation of the first independent government in Argentina and helped the country gain independence from Spain on July 9, 1816.

During his visit, the Ambassador met Indian companies viz. TATA Chemicals, TCS, UPL, Yupaa International (a fruit importer), Reliance Sports and Reliance Industries. He also met major Argentine companies which have their base in Mumbai including INVAP which is building a radioisotope medicine facility in association with Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology, a part of BARC.

On the area of food security, H.E. Mr. Chuburu said Argentina has developed cutting edge farm technologies and biotechnologies which can help India improve agriculture productivity and reduce post-harvest losses of farm produce.

H.E. Mr. Chuburu invited Indian companies to explore opportunities in mining, especially in lithium, gold and copper. Government of Argentina has opened the mining sector for foreign investment. Lithium is the major raw material for batteries used in electric cars and India has set a goal to shift to manufacture of electric vehicles on a large scale by 2030.

In the energy sector, Argentina has discovered new reserves of shale gas and shale oil. Therefore, the Ambassador has invited Indian companies to explore investment opportunities in this sector.

H.E. Mr. Chuburu also pointed to the potential for bilateral collaboration in the satellite sector for space and radar technologies in the aviation sector.

Speaking about collaboration in creative industry, the Ambassador mentioned that cinema is another key focus area for Argentina. He wants bilateral co-operation in this sector to go beyond merely establishing Argentina as a shooting location for Bollywood. In fact, the Ambassador is planning to bring down Argentine actors to India and expose them to the wide viewership of the Indian film industry. H.E. Mr. Chuburu is also planning to popularize football in India by bringing coaches and players from Argentina.

The Ambassador concluded his speech by pointing out that the mission of his Embassy is to promote collaboration in the above sectors. He emphasised that both the two big countries deserve deeper relationship and there has to be balanced trade. Sound economic decisions have to be taken at the right time.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai and President All India Association of Industries (AIAI) said, “World Trade Center Mumbai has always promoted bilateral trade, tourism and culture with Argentina. World Trade Center Mumbai received overwhelming response for its first GRULAC Conference held in 2017. We have also organised popular cultural events such as Tango dance to strengthen bilateral relationship. Currently, bilateral trade stands at USD 2.78 billion and I expect it to double in the next five years. Although both the countries are far apart, distance will no longer be a barrier because of improvement in transport and communication. Indian government is very keen to strengthen business partnership with Argentina. Many Indian businessmen want to explore investment opportunity in that country.”

Mr. Y.R. Warerkar, Executive Director, World Trade Center Mumbai proposed vote of thanks for the event.

The interactive meeting was attended by Mr. Alejandro Zothner Meyer, Conul General of Argentina in Mumbai, Ms. Andrea Alba Gonzalez, Deputy Consul of Argentina in Mumbai, Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, World Trade Center Mumbai and representatives from trade and industry. About MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai MVIRDC World Trade Center (WTC) Mumbai is the premier World Trade Center in India dedicated to the promotion of international trade and investment. It is a member of the World Trade Centers Association, New York, an unparalleled network of 323 WTCs in 88 countries connecting one million businesses across all sectors. The prime objective of the MVIRDC WTC Mumbai is to enhance India’s trade competitiveness and facilitate India’s integration with global markets through trade promotion, research, education and training. MVIRDC WTC Mumbai offers a bouquet of business services and facilities that are unmatched in scope and range. The Centre conducts research-based seminars, workshops, and hosts exhibitions for the benefit of trade and business community. In so doing, the Centre offers a unique platform for the local business to conduct international trade thereby connecting with business counterparts worldwide (for more information about the organisation, please visit www.wtcmumbai.org).