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China-Argentina complementary cooperation mutually beneficial

2014-07-18 16:15 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

Though far apart and culturally different, China and Argentina, two developing countries, share the same pursuit of prosperity. [Special coverage]

After establishing a strategic partnership in 2004, the two countries have seen rapid development of their ties, especially in the fields of trade and economy, which has spurred greater wealth for both.


On May 22, in the Argentine capital and port city of Buenos Aires, 72 brand new passenger train cars were very eye-catching.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Minister of Transport and the Interior Florencio Randazzo unveiled the train cars purchased from China to renovate the capital's main Sarmiento railway line, which links the downtown area with the western outskirts.

As Argentina tries to modernize its inner-city rail system, Chinese-made trains and equipment have won the approval of government decision-makers.

The trains are just one of the many examples of the growing strategic partnership between the two countries in recent years, when bilateral trade rose from 4.107 billion US dollars in 2004 to $16.86 billion in 2013.

Today, China is Argentina's biggest market for agricultural exports, its second-largest trade partner and its third leading investor.

The potential bilateral trade opportunities reflect the complementary nature of the two nations' economies.

Argentina has a well-developed agriculture and abundant natural resources, with an annual soy output of 50 millions tons, which makes it the world's third soy producer.

China, on the other hand, has limited arable land in per capita terms, and has a growing need for cereals. But its manufacturing power can well meet Argentina's demands.


Chinese firms are making the most of the similar development stages Latin American countries and China are in to win competitive contracts in Latin America's diverse sectors and markets.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese and Argentine governments, two mega-hydroelectric plants built by China's Gezhouba Group will soon be put into operation in Argentina's southern province of Santa Cruz.

The energy project, worth some $4.1 billion, marks an increase in the scale and level of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

It will also boost Argentina's energy production and help the country save billions of dollars in fuel imports.

Chinese firms are also investing in other Argentine sectors. Sinopec has invested in oil exploration in southern Argentina; technology firms Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo are building plants in Tierra del Fuego; and China's ICBC banking group bought 80 percent of the country's Standard Bank and even sponsors its national football team.

As of June, the volume of private Chinese investment in Argentina surpassed 6 billion dollars.


Agriculture has always occupied a central place in China-Argentina trade ties.

At the September inauguration of a dairy plant in Buenos Aires province, Fernandez said the facility will help boost Argentina's capacity to export powdered milk products to China.

Argentina's dairy and other agricultural products are increasingly finding a receptive market in China.

In the past three years, Argentina's agricultural exports to China stood steadily at some $5 billion. In June 2012, then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signed a series of accords with Argentina to bolster bilateral agricultural cooperation when he visited the South American country.

Following the agreements, Argentine firm Biogenesis Bago established a production base in China to produce vaccines against foot and mouth disease affecting cattle there, becoming the first foreign firm authorized by China to operate in that sector.

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