Argentina seeks stronger cooperation with China on tourism, energy, SMEs

Updated 2017-05-18 14:01:15 Xinhua

Argentinean officials said earlier this week that the country will deepen collaboration with China in a number of areas, including tourism, energy and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Addressing the China-Argentina Business and Investment Forum held in Beijing on Tuesday, the president of the Argentinean Chamber of Tourism (CAR), Oscar Ghezzi, said that "improved connectivity, an openness to infrastructure investments and excellent conditions" opened the door for more foreign capital and more Chinese tourists.

"We have included tourism as one of the high potential business sectors with China, along with agroindustry, energy and infrastructure," the CAR said in a statement.

In order to make it easier for Chinese visitors to come to Argentina, Buenos Aires lifted last year visa requirements for tourists already having visas for the United States or the European Union, allowing them to enter the country after filling out a simple online form.

Argentina has also agreed to further diversify its energy matrix with Chinese help on a series of nuclear and solar energy projects.

Argentine Minister of Energy and Mining Juan Jose Aranguren, told the press on Wednesday that it is agreed that China will finance two nuclear plants and three solar plants in Jujuy, a northwest province in Argentina.

"In recent years, Argentina has not invested properly in energy. We are even importing energy. With these agreements, we will produce our own electric energy and this, sooner or later, will result in lower costs. Depending on foreign energy will always force us to pay more than what is produced domestically," explained Aranguren.

The South America's second-largest economy has set itself the target of reaching 8 percent of energy from clean energies by the end of 2017 and 20 percent by 2025. Currently, this only stands at around 2 percent.

The two countries have also agreed to boost cooperation in industries such as infrastructure, agriculture, mining and manufacturing, as well as jointly boosting support for SMEs.

Argentinean Ministry of Production added that SMEs would be helped by China to finance products based on generating renewable energy, energy infrastructure and agricultural production.

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