Buenos Aires, Apr 5 (EFE).- Chilean President Gabriel Boric on Tuesday in Buenos Aires headed a meeting with more than 40 Argentine and Chilean businesspeople, at which he invited the private sector to cooperate in deepening economic and trade relations between the two countries.
In his opening speech, the Chilean leader issued a call to “reactivate” his country’s economy via focusing on emphasizing “stability,” “fiscal responsibility” and “integration” with other regional economies.
“The mountain range that unites us, more than separates us, has raw materials on both sides that are rather similar. How we work with greater cooperation and integration is very important,” said Boric, who emphasized his commitment to a “respectful” trade policy emphasizing human rights and “promoting cooperation and productive transformation.”
The meeting, which brings together leaders of cooperatives, industry and B companies, among other sectors, was also attended by Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, who spoke about “relaunching” the political and economic relations between the two countries.
“Developing (during this meeting) that economic link and strengthening that bilateral relationship are going to be the job and the task of all of you. We’re convinced that the start of these conversations will make it possible to create new mechanisms for cooperation, exchange and brotherhood,” Argentina’s top diplomat said.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), Chile is the No. 5 destination for Argentine exports, with Buenos Aires exporting products worth $4.182 million to Chile during 2021, a year-on-year increase of 44.7 percent.
During that period, Argentina’s main exports to Chile were beef, vehicles and liquid propane.
Argentine imports from Chile totaled $696 million last year – 29.1 percent more than during the previous year – giving Argentina a positive trade balance with the neighboring country of $3.486 million, the biggest surplus Buenos Aires had among all the countries with whom it trades.
Along those lines, the Chilean leader urged “continuity” in the policies of his predecessors in the economic and trade realm vis-a-vis Argentina.
“Last year, trade between Argentina and Chile rose significantly and that’s not an achievement that can be attributed to my administration, of course. As a state policy, we’re providing continuity and we want to deepen it. We didn’t come here to re-invent the wheel,” Boric said.
The former student leader, who assumed the Chilean presidency on March 11, on Monday began his first state visit abroad with a full agenda in the Argentine capital.
After the opening of the business forum, Boric is scheduled to visit the old Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), the biggest and most notorious clandestine detention center under Argentina’s 1976-1983 civil-military dictatorship.