India-Argentina relation: Lithium, Shale Gas, Food Security and Defence Cooperation top the Modi-Macri talks

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New Delhi | February 18, 2019 11:09 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Argentine President Mauricio Macri, accompanied by a high level official delegation and around 100 top industry representatives of the Argentinean companies held bilateral talks on Monday.

india, argentina, pm narendra modi, narendra modi, india argentina tiesPrime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri prior to a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

With India–Argentina trade just touching $ 3 billion in the last ten years, leaders of both sides agree to increase their cooperation further to improve economic relations.

The two countries inked ten agreements including in the defence, agriculture, space, pharmaceuticals, Between Prasar Bharati and its Counterpart, Antarctic cooperation, Work plan on Agriculture, Cooperation in IT and Nuclear energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Argentine President Mauricio Macri, accompanied by a high level official delegation and around 100 top industry representatives of the Argentinean companies held bilateral talks on Monday.

The delegation level talks focussed on cooperation in the agriculture sector, trade and investments, defence, Lithium Mining and space cooperation.

In his joint address to the media with the visiting leader, Modi said, that both agreed that terrorism is a huge threat to global peace and stability. Adding that there should be no delay in taking action against terrorism as it encourages terrorism further.

Calling Argentina a powerhouse of Agriculture, Modi said, and India sees it as a partner for food security.

In his press statement, Argentinean President Mauricio Macri while firmly condemning the Pulwama terror attack, said that “Argentina sees India as its business partner and both sides have great opportunities in non-conventional energies.”

The visit also comes close on the heels of the crisis in Venezuela and Argentina has recognised the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the president. New Delhi has taken a cautious stand in the Venezuelan crisis since Caracas is the large oil exporter to India.

The Foreign Minister of Argentina Jorge Faurie, said that, “The crisis in Venezuela is affecting us and the news that India has recently bought a lot of crude from that country is disturbing. We have raised this with the Indian side during discussions today.”

“We are keen that Indian oil companies come and explore opportunities in the Shale Oil in our country,” he added.

Argentina has invited Indian companies to explore partnership opportunities in Vaca Muerta, one of the largest deposits of shale oil and gas in the world, and in renewable energies, particularly solar.

The South American nation is also interested in furthering exchange of knowledge and experiences in emerging technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Health Systems and applied research, as well as financial and digital Inclusion.

The visit comes at a time when both the countries are celebrating the 70th year of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Argentina. India and Argentina traditionally share warm and friendly ties anchored in mutually beneficial partnerships. The bilateral co-operation spans areas including economic, commercial, agriculture, science, technology, culture and tourism.

Later in the day Macri addressed the plenary session of the India-Argentina Business Forum at Hotel Taj Mahal before meeting with President Kovind in the evening. He is leaving for Mumbai on Tuesday from where he will return to Argentina after wrapping up his official visit.

Also read: India, Argentina expected to work together on Trainer Aircraft for the Air Force

Modi along with President Ram Nath Kovind, had earlier accorded a ceremonial reception to Macri and the First Lady, Juliana Awada.

Argentina today also became the 72nd country to sign the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The agreement was inked on the sidelines of the official three-day visit of Argentinean President Macri to India by Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie in the presence of ISA’s Director-General Upendra Tripathy.

The two leaders since 2015 have met five times and there is a great understanding amongst them.

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