Argentina expects to jump aboard the BRI express
3 Dec 2021



Visitors gather at the booth of Argentine wine products during the fourth China International Import Expo in Shanghai. [Provided to China Daily]


Argentina plans to formally announce the decision to join the Belt and Road Initiative next year, when China and Argentina mark 50 years of diplomatic ties, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, the Argentine ambassador to China, said in Beijing on Thursday.


The BRI will help promote a more harmonious world, and Argentina is bullish on the economic growth prospects of China and China's huge consumption potential, the ambassador said on the sidelines of the 2021 Belt and Road Trade and Investment Forum.


Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has shown itself to be a responsible big country in fighting the pandemic, and Argentina is grateful for China's help in providing pandemic prevention goods and medical products, the ambassador said.


So far this year, Argentina has purchased 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinopharm and another 5 million doses of vaccines from CanSinoBIO. It has helped Argentina to achieve its vaccination plan. Next, Argentina plans to cooperate with Chinese companies in technologies and produce Chinese vaccines in Argentina, he said.


Li Daokui, an economist with Tsinghua University and a national political adviser, said: "As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc globally, the BRI has become particularly important. Countries involved in the BRI should unite together, share related information about pandemic prevention and further strengthen cooperation."


Zhang Shaogang, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that in the past two years, the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the global economy, while the BRI has showed its resilience and various kinds of cooperation between involved markets have expanded.


For Argentina, it hopes to further expand cooperation with China in e-commerce. Argentina would like to set up country flagship stores on major e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and JD, as Argentina hopes to further grow its digital economy.


In the past few years, Argentina and other Latin American countries exported various kinds of foodstuff to China, including coffee, beef, wines, seafood and soybeans. Chinese consumers have welcomed these foods, the ambassador said.


In addition, as China has committed to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, Argentina said it has numerous renewable energy resources such as lithium ore, and it hopes to expand cooperation with China in lithium battery-powered vehicles.


In addition, Argentina plans to open a new consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan province, as it attaches importance to potential cooperation opportunities in Southwest China. Argentina hopes to officially launch the new consulate next year.


Earlier this year, Chengdu debuted its new Chengdu Tianfu International Airport. Along with Beijing and Shanghai, the city now operates two large-scale international airports. When the pandemic is brought under better control, Argentina hopes to expand cooperation with Chengdu in the tourism sector.


"We are considering launching direct flights between Argentina and China, with a stopover in New Zealand. Now, we are in discussions about code sharing with Air China and Sichuan Airlines," he added.


Source: China Daily