Wednesday, January 19

Argentina could join the silk road and add Chinese financing

The intention to hold the meeting in early 2022 was confirmed by the Argentine ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja. As this media anticipated weeks ago, the meeting would take place during the celebration of the Winter Olympic Games that are held in Beijing between February 4 and 20. At the same time, the 19th of that same month marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The health situation will be central for the visit to take place, since China continues to apply its policy of “zero tolerance” to covid-19, which implies strong restrictions against possible outbreaks. “We received the invitation and we are already working on a possible agenda, but everything is subject to the health situation allowing it,” they detailed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the Scope query.

Official sources told this media that in this framework, Argentina’s adherence to the Silk Road, China’s initiative to promote infrastructure investments worldwide, could be confirmed. The plan includes the projection of maritime transit routes, the construction of highways, railways and deep-water ports, among other issues.

As this newspaper learned, inclusion within this program may attract additional sources of financing from both banks and specific funds such as the Silk Road Fund or the Silk Road Center that have credit lines focused on financing infrastructure projects for the development.

Months ago, Vaca Narvaja was consulted on this point. “We are convinced that the inclusion of the Silk Road will help to expand our export capacity and also to leverage our development. Countries like ours need to grow their infrastructure ”, he said in dialogue with a Chinese medium. In the same vein, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero expressed himself days ago in a meeting with journalists and announced: “The necessary studies are being carried out to adapt this agreement to the needs of the Argentine economy.”

In parallel to adhering to the global program, the Government is negotiating the renewal of the five-year investment plan that China carries out in the country. In this sense, both the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs led by Gustavo Béliz, as well as the embassy in the Asian country, have been working on a list of projects. At the forefront of these initiatives is the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant, Atucha III. Also included are the Cauchari IV and V photovoltaic parks, the Patagonian dams and gas pipelines to expand the Vaca Muerta network.

During his stay, it is expected that the Argentine president will also participate in different business rounds. The national commercial presence in that country has been growing, to the point that this year Alberto Fernández participated remotely in the China International Services Trade Fair, one of the most important in the world, where Argentina had its own stand for the first time.

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