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Argentina and Switzerland make progress in their bilateral relationship and give a boost to the MERCOSUR-EFTA agreement

04 May 2018
Información para la Prensa N°: 
182/18

"Argentina has changed course. We want to be a trustworthy and transparent country with clear rules. Rule-based negotiations and agreements are of great importance for us: they strengthen our institutions, help us integrate into the world and enable businesses from the two countries and from both blocs (Mercosur and EFTA) to see clear signs encouraging investment," the Secretary for International Economic Relations of the Foreign Ministry, Horacio Reyser, stated today as he met with the Swiss Economy Minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, at the Palacio San Martín.

Reyser and Schneider-Ammann underscored the progress made on the trade negotiations between the EFTA (European Free Trade Association, comprising Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Mercosur, as well as the opportunities offered by such negotiations. The Argentine official stated that the agreement between the two blocs is "ambitious."

The Swiss Minister of Economic Affairs, Johann Schneider-Ammann, arrived in Argentina alongside a large delegation of legislators, businesspeople, agriculture experts and scientists, who will be presented with the benefits of the Mercosur-EFTA negotiation, with a view to strengthening the bilateral relationship.

"We are building trust in Argentina. As regards bilateral relations, we agreed on the importance and potential of the relationship between Argentina and Switzerland, which is the seventh largest investor in Argentina, accounting for investments of over USD 7.5 billion. Bilateral trade is also significant and accounts for USD 1.8 billion, but we believe there are opportunities for it to grow," he explained.

As regards the regional front, Reyser stated that "the economies of the countries making up both blocs play a key role and will create opportunities for industrial sectors, SMEs and food industries in both blocs."

The Secretary remarked that "this visit by Minister Schneider-Ammann alongside a distinguished delegation is a sign that the EFTA is taking the negotiations seriously and we should note that at Mercosur and work accordingly. I can assure you that we will work hard towards an agreement."

Finally, Reyser assured Schneider-Ammann that "in Argentina, they will find a Government administration that holds dialogue with the private sector, civil society and Congress, so as to guarantee that everything we do is transparent, which is paramount in this type of partnership."

 

Press Release No. 182/18