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Argentina, ASEAN boost cooperation

Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Felipe Sola has recently had a working session with the ambassadors of ASEAN member states to the country, namely Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, to discuss cooperation with the bloc.

Speaking at the meeting, Sola affirmed ASEAN’s important role in Argentina’s strategy for cooperation expansion via the South American trade bloc Mercosur (comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela).

Argentina wants to step up and diversify trade ties, as well as boost investment in production and high-tech collaboration with ASEAN member countries, the official stated.

As the current rotating chair of Mercosur, Argentina hopes to further scale up trade relations between the two blocs, he said, stressing that Mercosur is ready to consider the possibility of beginning a trade negotiation with ASEAN member nations.

Participating ASEAN ambassadors mentioned the potential for engagement between the sides in trade and other sectors. Currently, Argentina has 12 technical cooperation projects in ASEAN in the fields of agriculture, industry, science, technology, innovation, and strengthening public management, among others.

Taking the occasion to thank the Argentine ministry for its support for ASEAN member states’ activities in  Buenos Aires, they hoped the sides will expand their joint work in not only politics and trade but also culture, education, sports, technology-science so that Argentine people could gain better understanding of ASEAN./