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European Commission


Brussels, 12 June 2014

Mission for Growth to Argentina: building business links

On 13 June European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for enterprise and industry Antonio Tajani will visit Buenos Aires, to lead discussions with both politicians and business people about closer industrial cooperation between Argentina and the EU. He will be accompanied by a large business delegation from the EU composed of 23 companies and 3 business associations, representing 11 EU countries1.

The EU as a whole is Argentina's first partner in cooperation, the first investor and its second largest trading partner, with a trade volume of €18.1 bn. To further develop this relationship, during the visit a series of business to business matchmaking sessions will enable participating EU and Argentinean companies to meet and discuss mutually beneficial opportunities.

This visit will incorporate concrete discussions on industrial cooperation, as well as consolidating EU-Argentina cooperation in strategic areas such as industrial cooperation, SMEs, tourism and space. For this reason Vice President Tajani will also have meetings with a number of high level Argentinean government representatives, including Jorge Capitanich the Head of Cabinet of the Argentinian President; Lino Baranao, the Minister of Science and Technology; Daniel Aguilera, the Secretary of Tourism; Héctor Timerman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Débora Giorgi the Minister of Industry; Horacio Roura Secretary for SME and Regional Development; and Axel Kicillof, the Minister of Economy and Public Finance. The economic situation and business environment and opportunities in Argentina will also be discussed with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Previous visits to Argentina

The meetings will follow up on and consolidate the results of actions initiated by Vice President Tajani during a previous successful mission to Argentina in December 2011, during which a joint declaration on the "50 000 tourists" pilot experience was signed, as well as memoranda of understanding on the areas of industrial cooperation, industrial innovation, raw materials and SME policy.

Further integration of Argentina and the European Union is possible and beneficial to both parties as it would not only boost growth but also encourage the presence and development of EU firms in Central America and lead to a healthy diversification for European and Argentinian companies.

This particular mission is also a testament to the importance the EU attaches to the commitments made during the last EU-CELAC Summit in Santiago de Chile in January 2013 and our desire to deepen our bilateral dialogues.

EU-Argentina trade and investment

The world's eighth largest country by surface, Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. With 41 million inhabitants, Argentina has a long tradition of European immigration that has led to strong transatlantic ties in economic, social and cultural matters.

The EU is the second largest export market of Argentina, after Brazil. Argentina exports mainly agricultural products and raw materials to the EU. The EU exports mainly manufactured goods to Argentina, such as machinery, transport equipment and chemicals. For the EU, trade with Argentina represents about 1 % of its total trade but in recent years the EU became the second largest trading partner for Argentina.

The EU is the biggest foreign investor in Argentina, representing about half of the foreign direct investment in Argentina. The cumulative investment in the EU amounted to € 44.2 bn in 2011 and covers important areas such as telecommunications, automotive and energy.

EU-Latin America trade relations

Latin America is the first priority for the profound economic, social, cultural and even family ties between the two sides of the Atlantic. The countries of the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean are natural allies, united by strong historical, cultural and economic ties and collaborate very closely at international level, where intense political dialogue at all levels are maintained.

The EU remains the main source of Foreign Direct Investment in the region: more than 40%. Europe invests in Latin America more than it invests in China, India and Russia together, and these investments are also growing progressively. Trade flows have doubled in the last decade to 202 billion Euros. The network of agreements that have been woven throughout the years has substantially contributed to it.

The European Commission aims to support the development of a legal framework that ensures the security and predictability for investments. For this reason the very first "missions for growth" were to Latin America.

“Missions for Growth”

On this occasion a sequence of three “Missions for Growth” will take place from 12 to 14 June 2014, to the following countries: Panama, Argentina and Paraguay.

As part of the “Missions for Growth” initiative Vice-President Tajani, accompanied by European entrepreneurs has already visited 19 countries with the aim of helping European enterprises, in particular SMEs, to better profit from fast growing emerging international markets.

The European Commission's main objective is to promote intelligent and sustainable economic growth. The central actors and beneficiaries of this growth are the companies, especially SMEs (and through them society in general). Internationalization is possibly the most important element for fostering growth and improving competitiveness. The increase in trade and technological exchanges will benefit all participants. To facilitate this process, Vice President Tajani created the "Missions for Growth" during which, accompanied by European entrepreneurs, he had the opportunity to travel to key countries with the aim of deepening the relationship of normative approach, cooperation, pursuit of projects of common interest and also improves of direct trade.

1 :

Participating companies generate jobs for more than 90 000 people and represent a turnover of around €56 bn, i.e. more than the 2013 €53bn GDP of the EU countries Slovenia and Estonia. The participating business associations also represent more or less 280 000 European companies, generating additional jobs and turnover

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