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Joint Press Statement following the Joint Commission Meeting between India and Argentina (August 26, 2022)

August 26, 2022

1. External Affairs Minister of India (EAM) H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar is paying an official visit to Argentina from 25-26 August 2022, at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship (FM) H.E. Mr. Santiago Cafiero. Both Ministers jointly presided over a Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between Republic of India and Republic of Argentina on 26 August 2022 at San Martin Palace, Buenos Aires. During the visit, EAM called on the President of Argentine Republic, H.E. Dr Alberto Fernandez.

2. Both the Ministers, EAM and FM, recalled the substantive discussions held between Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and President of Argentine Republic H.E. Dr Alberto Fernandez during their first in-person meeting, on 26 June 2022, at Munich on the sidelines of G7 Summit. They also fondly recalled their own productive discussions during FM Cafiero’s visit to India in April 2022, the first Ministerial visit to India under President Fernandez’s administration. Likewise, it was noted that the visit of EAM Jaishankar was the first Ministerial visit from India since the present Argentine government took over in 2019 as well as the first visit of External Affairs Minister of India to Argentina since 2013.

3. Both sides underscored that India and Argentina, two large and vibrant democracies, had elevated their relationship to the level of Strategic Partners in 2019. This partnership was founded on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, respect for human rights and territorial integrity of States. Having established their diplomatic ties in 1949, both countries have enjoyed multi- faceted relations encompassing political, economic, energy, mining, science & technology, information technology and cultural cooperation, which have strengthened over the years.

4. Both Ministers reaffirmed the importance of parliamentary exchanges between the two functional democracies and looked forward to regular exchange of delegations between the two Parliaments.

5. In a post-pandemic world, facing global geopolitical challenges, India and Argentina reaffirmed commitment to further deepening and diversifying their cooperation, expanding it in new domains to meet emerging challenges through broadening and deepening their partnership.

Economic Cooperation

6. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the continued healthy pace of growth in the bilateral trade, which despite global disruption and challenges owing to the pandemic, reached an unprecedented level of USD 5.7 billion in 2021 making India the 4th largest trading partner of Argentina. In order to achieve a balanced growth of trade, both sides agreed to diversify the trade basket and accelerate market access negotiations.

7. Both parties agreed to request the Central Banks to carry out studies for the development of a payment mechanism in local currencies with the aim of providing companies with an instrument to facilitate bilateral trade, in a framework of mutual benefit.

8. Both Ministers agreed to encourage their respective private sectors to further explore investments in each other’s country through providing an enabling business climate, identifying and promoting specific investment opportunities and agreed to continue discussions between the two countries.

Cooperation in Strategic Sectors

9. India and Argentina reviewed their ongoing cooperation in the strategic sectors of Defence, Nuclear Energy and Space and reiterated their commitment to work together for mutual benefit. It was agreed to enhance cooperation in the Defence sector within the framework of the MOU on Defence Cooperation signed in 2019. Both sides also explored expanding the scope of their partnership through, inter-alia, conclusion of further MOUs / Agreements, as may be required.

10. EAM, acknowledging Argentine interest in the Made in India TEJAS fighter aircrafts for Argentine Air Force, highlighted importance of the proposal in enhancing strategic quotient of bilateral relationship. Both sides agreed to promote exchange of visits between Armed Forces, defence trainings and collaboration for joint production of defence related equipment.

11. Both sides expressed satisfaction on progress of the Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) facility being set up in Mumbai by the Argentine company INVAP and noted that the project was nearing the commissioning stage. It was agreed to explore areas for deeper cooperation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the Agreement signed between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of India and National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA) in 2010 as well as the MOU signed between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, under DAE, and CNEA in 2019. It was also agreed to continue the exchanges in a bilateral meeting among the agencies concerned on the margins of the General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency in September 2022, in order to explore possible dates for holding the next meeting in Argentina of Joint Coordinating Committee, established by the aforementioned Governmental agreement. They urged Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India (AERB) and the Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN) an early conclusion of the proposed MOU on nuclear safety.

12. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation in Space through the respective National Space agencies, viz. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) of India and Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) of Argentina, who are discussing specific opportunities for collaboration in the fields of Satellite Data Sharing, Data Calibration / Validation Experiments, Establishment or cross utilization of ground stations, Space exploration and Space Debris Studies. Both sides agreed to encourage industrial/commercial collaboration in the Space sector. Both sides agreed that the Third Meeting of the Joint Commission for the implementation of the framework agreement between the two countries on cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space would be held in the second half of 2022.

Sectoral Cooperation

13. Recalling close coordination and support extended to each other in fight against the COVID pandemic, which yielded remarkable outcomes, both sides resolved to continue working together to fight the menace. Highlighting its expertise and immense production capacities, India offered tie-ups in vaccine production making Argentina as a regional base.

14. Acknowledging prowess of pharma sectors in both countries, the two Ministers agreed to promote trade and investments in pharmaceuticals. EAM requested to explore the possibility for inclusion of India in the list of countries under Annex I of the Argentine Decree No.150 dated 20 January 1990.

15. Following up on the recent discussions between Prime Minister Modi and President Fernandez, it was decided that India would host the first bilateral conference, later this year, of pharmaceutical companies to explore areas and modalities for cooperation. Argentina would host the next conference in 2023.

16. Noting the growing acceptance and popularity of Ayurveda and its potential to bring immense preventive health and commercial benefits, India requested for recognition of Ayurveda as a primary healthcare system in Argentina.

17. Acknowledging the role of Yoga for a healthy life, its importance as form of traditional wellbeing and its power to culturally connect, both sides appreciated huge interest in and growing popularity of Yoga in Argentina.

18. India expressed interest in partnering with Argentina for development of infrastructural projects of transmission lines, roads & highways, railways and in renewable energy including solar, wind, small hydel or biogas and offered the expertise of Indian public and private sector companies, which could also bring attractive financing options, subject to domestic regulations in Argentina.

19. Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the progress of the latest Science and Technology Cooperation Program between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Argentine Republic (MINCyT) and the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of India (DST) signed in 2013. Both parties launched the next call for joint projects to be implemented during the 2023-2024 biennium in common strategic areas such as biotechnology and energy transition in the context of the cooperation in science, technology and innovation between the MINCyT and the DST.

20. Drawing on their Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) for Cooperation within the field of Information Technology signed in 2019 the two countries agreed to share experience and expertise in digital & financial inclusion, distance education, digital signatures, big data, blockchain technologies and cyber security, artificial intelligence. Argentina expressed desire to cooperate with India’s unique platform for digital payments – the largest in the world, which has proved to be an excellent tool for social, gender and financial inclusion. India offered the expertise of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to replicate the autonomous and transparent Indian platform, to create an Argentine owned digital payment ecosystem.

21. FM appreciated the donation of the Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) by the Government of India to the Government and people of Argentina. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the speedy progress on setting up of CEIT for the Argentine Ministry of Education, being commissioned at the University of Hurlingham in Buenos Aires Province.

22. Expressing satisfaction at the close Antarctica cooperation between India and Argentina, and looking forward to India's hosting of the 2024 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the two sides resolved to enhance diplomatic coordination in the main Antarctic fora, as well as scientific co-operation, including exchange of scientific and bibliographical information related to the study of Antarctica, its environment, and dependent & associated ecosystems.

23. Acknowledging criticality of Lithium in e-mobility and abundance of the mineral in Argentina, both sides expressed satisfaction at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources. Both Ministers expressed hope that cooperation in the field of minerals would be mutually beneficial and would lead to more trade, investments and collaborations in the sector.

24. Both sides appreciated the need for closer cooperation in conventional and renewable energy sectors. As Argentina has huge deposits of conventional as well as shale oil and gas, both sides agreed to expedite conclusion of Indian investments in specific projects in this area, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation in Argentina.

25. With an intent to promote easy and swifter movement of professionals and businessmen to each other’s country, the two sides agreed to expedite finalization of the social security agreement. Recalling the exchange of letters between the two countries in October 2009 on reciprocal issuance of 5-year long business visas and that of 1968 on tourist and transit visas, the two Ministers agreed to continue implementing them fully in the post-pandemic times.

26. Considering the increasing risks derived from climate change and environmental degradation, and the growing number of vulnerable communities affected, both Ministers noted their cooperation under the ambit of Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) partnership that aims to promote the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development. They also agreed on the need to address these through cooperation on Integrated Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Assistance, and examine the signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding in this regard.

Multilateral

27. Expressing satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral fora, both Ministers agreed to closely cooperate in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations to address global challenges of terrorism, security, international and regional peace, climate change, biodiversity loss, equitable trade and sustainable development.

28. They renewed their commitment to international cooperation to tackle environmental global challenges and called on developed countries and multilateral financial institutions to increase funding, capacity building and technology transfer for developing countries.

29. They reaffirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and stressed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion to make it more representative, accountable, effective, and reflective of the contemporary realities of the 21st century. As Member States of the Group of 77 in the United Nations, they agreed to continue to work together in multilateral fora to promote interests of developing countries and promote South – South Cooperation.

30. Both countries reiterated their commitment to the objectives of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India congratulated Argentina as Chair for the period 2022-2023 and Argentina expressed its strong support to India’s membership of the Group.

31. Argentina and India are committed to supporting multilateralism and international cooperation in promoting and protecting human rights, and in that endeavor, they actively support the essential role of the Human Rights Council, which is currently chaired by Argentina.

32. Concurring that terrorism and extremism continue to pose a threat to regional and global peace, stability as well as economic prosperity of societies and peaceful way of life, both countries renewed their resolve to fight against this grave challenge to humanity, reiterating that response to terrorism must continue to be comprehensive taking into account the international framework. They called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels and halting cross-border terrorism. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism, is completely unacceptable to the international community and must be combatted resolutely.

33. Both Ministers noted the recent discussions between India and MERCOSUR over the expansion of existing Preferential Trade Agreement and emphasized their shared commitment to further promote trade for mutual benefit.

34. The two Ministers exchanged views on several regional and global issues. Argentina affirmed its support to India’s upcoming G20 Presidency, including for furthering the development agenda of the Global South in the G20. Argentina also detailed the roadmap for Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) during its Pro-Tempore Presidency in 2022 and highlighted the importance of dialogue with other countries and regional blocs, including India.

35. India reiterated its support to the resumption of negotiations to find a solution to the sovereignty issue relating to the Question of the Malvinas Islands in accordance with the Resolutions of the UNGA and the Special Committee on Decolonization.

36. Both Ministers agreed to remain actively engaged to further promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two countries.

37. It was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Commission Meeting in India in 2023 on mutually convenient dates.

Buenos Aires
August 26, 2022
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