Santiago Cafiero traveled this Friday to Paraguay leading a multi-sector trade mission accompanied by representatives of some 30 Argentine companies.
In parallel, Cafiero becomes the first high-level official to travel to Paraguay since 2017. On the trip, he will meet with his Paraguayan counterpart, Euclides Acevedo Candia, within the framework of the Political and Integration Commission (Great Commission). This will continue the talks started in 2021.
His trip takes place after the storm he represented for the Government the sentence to eight years of pressure for corruption for the former governor of Entre Ríos Sergio Urribarri, today ambassador to Israel. On Thursday night, Alberto Fernández and Cafiero decided to remove him, which was defined with a presentation of resignation by the man from Entre Ríos and his acceptance.
The Argentine Foreign Minister arrived in Asunción this Friday, where since Thursday the Secretary for International Economic Relations of the Foreign Ministry, Cecilia Todesca, was already in charge of the trade mission that will meet the Argentines with 66 Paraguayan business representatives, and some 156 meetings , in addition to a visit to the Paraguayan Industrial Union.
“The objective of the meetings is to present the Argentine exportable offer in the Paraguayan market, promoting new investments and reciprocal trade, with the aim of expanding and diversifying the exchange with greater mutual benefits.”
Since 2017 there has not been that level of meetings in Paraguay, and the relationship of Alberto Fernández with Mario Abdo Benitez has not been good. It was crossed by two events: on the one hand, by ideological differences brought by the Argentine president against Abdo Benitez.
Second, for the crime of two girls at the hands of the Paraguayan Army in a confrontation with guerrillas, which Argentina interposed as a fight between states instead of carrying out a negotiation to clarify the facts. And then, because the talks led by former Foreign Minister Felipe Solá took the crisis to a worse point than it was because he got into a shouting match with his counterpart.
Cafiero received his counterpart, Acevedo Candia, in Buenos Aires last year, and the relationship was channeled through diplomatic channels, so a meeting with Abdo Benitez could now take place.
Bilateral trade between Argentina and Paraguay in 2021 reached almost US$3 billion. There was a growth of 47.5% compared to 2020 for Argentine exports and this is the highest value in the last 7 years, and an increase of 31.4% compared to the previous year for imports from Paraguay, which which also constitutes the highest value of the last 7 years.
In 2021, Argentina ranked as the second most important destination for Paraguayan exports, accounting for little more than a quarter of that country’s foreign sales. In turn, in terms of the countries of origin of Paraguayan imports, Argentina ranks third in importance.
They will be part of the delegation, among others (Bionet); auto parts (Alm Brakes, Rida Autoparts, Daniel Brito Trucks, Silent Brake, Mondale SRL, Sabbatini hydraulic equipment); self-service terminals (Symtron SA); rubber and plastic (Ilpea argentina SRL, La sampedrina, Rappachiani, Todos Retenes SRL); equipment for water / air treatment (Falmet Group); industry equipment / pumps / brushes / tank covers (Bertotto Boglione SA, Bombas Cimma, Industrias electromecánicas BTM SRL).
Cafiero travels with his chief of staff, Luciana Tito; the Undersecretary of Mercosur and International Economic Negotiations, Rossana Surballe and the Undersecretaries of Latin American Affairs, Gustavo Martínez Pandiani; and Promotion of Trade and Investment, Pablo Sivori.