Argentina officially joins BRI boosting China-South America cooperation
Trade Corporation between China and Argentina reaches a new level, granting China a new important partner in South America.
On the 50th anniversary of China-Argentina diplomatic ties, Argentina formally joined China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with top leaders from both countries expressing their commitment to strengthen bilateral collaboration as well as cooperation between China and South America.
After attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez in Beijing on Sunday.
A joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as the signing of a number of documents for future cooperation, was released following the meeting.
On its account, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, said on Sunday that officials from China and Argentina inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation within the framework of the BRI, aiming to promote the construction of the BRI in Argentina and cooperation in numerous fields, including policy communication, connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, people-to-people exchanges, and third-party markets.
Xi underlined at the meeting that the two countries should pursue high-quality BRI construction and implement existing large cooperation projects such as hydropower plants and railways while maximizing their complementing benefits and extending cooperation in many industries.
The two countries also inked cooperation documents in over 10 fields, including green development, the digital economy, aerospace, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, technical innovation, and agriculture not to mention the MoU on BRI cooperation.
Argentina will gain tremendously from the BRI in a variety of areas, including infrastructure construction, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and investment, according to analysts.
According to Wang Youming, director of the Institute of Developing Countries at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, Argentina will be able to attract more investment from China and deepen comprehensive cooperation in bilateral trade and investment in some key fields such as energy and digital economy.
The two countries agreed to strengthen bilateral trade cooperation and continue to expand trade while promoting financial support for China's exports to Argentina and actively encouraging trade diversification, Wang said.
A previously agreed bilateral local currency swap arrangement has played a significant role in sustaining Argentina's financial stability. Both sides will continue to work closely on local currency swaps, and they will urge each other to employ local currency settlements in trade and investment, the statement added.
The BRI is expanding to include more South American countries. Prior to Argentina, China and Nicaragua signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January to jointly promote the BRI.
Despite ongoing US meddling which aims at undermining China's BRI project, analysts assure that the BRI is well-received by South Americans.