“India and Argentina have untapped potential for partnership as most of our goods are complementary to each other. Argentina has unexplored reserves of minerals such as copper, lithium, uranium, gold, silver etc., which can be mined to meet the growing industrial demand in India. India’s growing electric vehicle industry can source copper and lithium from Argentina. We welcome Indian companies to explore our mines as we have an open mining policy with 95% of miners from private sector. Argentina has the second largest reserve of shale gas and the fourth largest reserve of crude oil. Most of our mining reserves are yet unexplored as we hardly export USD 3.7 billion worth of minerals, as against USD 45 billion mineral exports by our neighbouring country Chile. If we partner in the mining sector, it will help boost bilateral trade for the next 30 years,” said H.E. Mr. Hugo Gobbi, Ambassador of Argentina to India at an interactive meeting at World Trade Center Mumbai.
The Ambassador also highlighted scope for collaboration in agriculture, information technology, space technology and tourism. Mr. Gobbi pointed out, “Indian farmers can increase their crop productivity by 10-20% by collaborating with their counterparts in Argentina. In the IT sector, the Argentine company Globant is a major investor in India employing 2,500 engineers. Argentina has a mature IT sector as it is home to the second largest number of start-up unicorns (11 unicorns) after Brazil in the Latin American region. Argentina is blessed with the incredible greenery, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls, which is conducive for tourism.”
Stressing on the need to strengthen collaboration in tourism sector, the Ambassador explained, “Every year, 35 million Indian tourists visit foreign countries, of which hardly 8,000 visit Argentina. Similarly, 12 million Argentine tourists visit abroad annually, of which hardly 14,000 come to India. We should promote film shooting in each other’s country to create awareness about sightseeing locations for travel.”
The Ambassador also emphasized on increasing people to people contact by pointing out that Argentina is an open and generous country with favourable immigration policy and simple procedure for issuing visas.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries said, “Argentina can be a gateway for Indian exporters to the MERCOSUR region and also to the entire Latin American continent. India and Argentina can collaborate in agriculture, mining, information technology, automobile and engineering sectors. Distance and cost of shipping are major barriers in enhancing our bilateral trade. Currently, bilateral trade is in favour of Argentina, with India importing USD 2.6 billion worth of goods, while exporting hardly USD 687 million worth of goods to this Latin American country. We can balance this trade if our government can subsidise shipping cost for exports to Argentina.”
Dr. Kalantri assured the Ambassador of all possible support to promote mutual cooperation in mining, tourism, agriculture and other potential areas.
Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai proposed vote of thanks for the event.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Guillermo Devoto, Consul General of Argentina and other members of trade & industry were present.