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Equity: something to work for

Update: May, 28/2015 - 09:47
Ice ice baby: Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina. — Courtesy Photo of Argentinean Embassy

On the occasion of Argentina's National Day, Viet Nam News presents an article written by Argentina's ambassador to Viet Nam, Claudio Ricardo Gutierrez.

To mark Argentina's National Day, I would like to refer to events that took place on May 25, 1810, when the first Argentine National Government was formed, politically independent from Spanish colonial rule. This achievement initiated a long process that culminated in our organisation as a nation.

Argentina's Independence was declared on July 9, 1816, and consolidated, together with our Latin American brothers, through a Liberation War. Nevertheless, the formation of the Argentine State and the consequent strengthening of our homeland took several decades.

In 1853 the Constitution was enacted and, later on, the Province of Buenos Aires joined the national territory, putting an end to a long civil war. These foundation agreements gave rise to a long period of institutional, economic, social and educational progress, which made Argentina stand out during the 20th century.

Regarding today's commemoration, I would like to briefly reflect on the intrinsic value of the word "independence". I understand that it is relative. A country is not independent, autonomous and sovereign if it cannot provide education, justice and social development to its people. Those are, in my opinion, along with equity, the true values that we should defend and work for.

For this reason, independence is a goal that should be pursued daily. It is not something definitely acquired, which has a value on its own, something that will forever solve the challenges of our countries: it is something we must work for every day. I am not referring to independence as the condition of being free from other countries. From an international point of view, I am talking about independence as complex inter-relationships and positive complementation between countries.

National development is not self-sufficient. It depends on rich interaction between countries, on relationships of respect that seek mutual benefits –those are the ones that are more permanent in time and make us freer. Viet Nam and Argentina are a good example of this type of relationship. Both countries have struggled for independence and decided to join the international community in a peaceful and respectful way, for mutual benefit.

The bilateral relationship of Viet Nam and Argentina, driven by the strong political will of our leaders, is a good example of how two distant countries, with different historical developments, can have identical co-operation interests, helping their populations to be more free and prosperous.

As a result of this firm decision, demonstrated in numerous bilateral high-level visits, last year we reached an agreement that will be crucial for the future of our bilateral trade relations - markets were opened for both plant and animal products for human consumption.

In the recent past, there has been an important increase in bilateral trade due to our relationship, based on trust and friendship. The same has happened in the area of co-operation: Viet Nam has become one of the top destinations of the Argentine Co-operation Fund, working in various fields such as agriculture and biotechnology, seeds, livestock and dairy, applied sciences and technology, and agribusiness.

Likewise, Argentina has a highly sensitive co-operation project we are very proud of the identification of the remains of Vietnamese martyrs. This involves genetic training, field and laboratory work, as well as social media components.

Argentina hopes to extend this co-operation in the near future, starting new projects such as training Spanish teachers at the University of Ha Noi, and other priority projects identified by the Government of Viet Nam.

Additionally, this embassy has worked intensively towards broadening ties between Vietnamese and Argentinian tourism agencies to increase visitors to both destinations.

Last April three representatives from the largest Vietnamese tour agencies travelled to Argentina, invited by the Chamber of Tourism of Argentina, to promote tourism.

Among many other promotional activities, we are also organising tourism seminars in Ha Noi, DaNang and HCM City. Tourism generates more foreign exchange income and other related businesses.

The authorities of both countries have also talked about services and investments. The possibility of joint work in energy production and communications projects, as well as in the production of drugs and vaccines against diseases, are among other high priority initiatives for both countries.

As I have said, we must not be content with how far we have reached in strengthening bilateral ties. Our challenge must be to continue multiplying co-operation, artistic, commercial and political activities, enriching and diversifying our relationship.

Finally I would like to say that, as diplomats in Viet Nam, our modest but determined mission is to continue the work initiated by our patriots during May 1810's Revolution, in the path of peace and cooperation.

Only equitable development will bring welfare to our populations, making them free and independent. — VNS

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