In a first, India eyes Argentina infrastructure windfall
Tue, 19/07/2016 - 17:37

With a newly-elected government in Argentina opening up its economy, India plans to grab a share of that country’s businesses in infrastructure, food and energy sectors. A high-level delegation from India will be visiting the country in September to participate in the first ever International Business and Investment Forum.

Senior officials from the ministry of external affairs, ministry of commerce and industry as well as representatives from sectors such as automobile, mining, railways, infrastructure, agro-businesses and oil & gas exploration will travel to the South American nation for the talks.

The forum, which is marking Argentina’s return to the world, will be hosting over 1,500 global businessmen, investors and political leaders from September 12 for four days in Buenos Aires. They will get an opportunity to explore the vision and strategies of the government to stimulate economy and review investment opportunities that promote inclusive and long-term growth.

According to the diplomats at the embassy of Argentina in New Delhi, “Participants from India”, who will be from various sectors as well as industry chambers, “can get in on the ground floor in a country that has massive investment opportunities stemming from its sheer size, diversified economy, educated population, natural resources and unique location.”

Argentina is back on the global investment map, offering some of the most exciting investment opportunities for the coming decade,” Argentine president Mauricio Macri had recently declared. “Attracting foreign direct investment this year will be a catalyst to economic growth and to create jobs and opportunities for the people of Argentina.”

Organized by the Argentina Investment & Trade Promotion Agency, the Forum will consist of plenary sessions, thematic conferences, bilateral meetings and networking opportunities that will give participants the chance to interact with senior government officials, state governors and local business leaders to explore new investment

According to diplomatic sources, both India and Argentina have been cooperating in a few areas · food security, energy security, science and technology, oil and gas, and space sector, among others. “There is immense scope for collaboration between the businesses of India and Argentina and beefing up India’s food security, areas relating to agriculture and agricultural processing.”

Agro-business is an important sector where both the countries can cooperate to benefit mutually. “Farming in Argentina is done on a large scale; it is technology-driven and globally competitive. It is done commercially, scientifically and professionally. In Argentina, rather in LatAm, they don’t plough land now. The practice – which is called Direct Seeding – means they don’t prepare the land by ploughing after the previous harvest and let the residue from the harvest rot and become manure,” said an MEA official.

We are looking for international investors to review first-hand the investment opportunities that our country presents across almost all industrial and service sectors, such as conventional and renewable energy, agribusiness, technology and infrastructure,” said Juan Procaccini, president of the Argentina Investment & Trade Promotion Agency.

At the meet, besides the ongoing macroeconomic and institutional reforms, other measures in the agenda such as new legal framework for public-private partnerships will facilitate investment in key areas like infrastructure. Industry watchers feel that Argentina and India could deepen economic ties as the Modi government is working towards a strategy to strengthen its ties with energy-rich South American nations. Exploration of unconventional resources such as shale gas in India is one of the areas where the two countries are looking for cooperation.