Argentina-VN to tap unexploited potentials for mutual interests

May 25, 2023 - 07:51
Argentinian ambassador to Việt Nam Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino writes to Việt Nam News on the country's National Day (May 25)

Argentinian ambassador to Việt Nam Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino writes to Việt Nam News on the country's National Day (May 25)

2023 is a very special year for Argentina and Việt Nam. Both countries are celebrating this year the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the Comprehensive Partnership, established in 2010, has never been as consolidated as it is now. Argentina was the third Latin American country in establishing diplomatic relations with Việt Nam and, thus, one of the firsts in the region to do so before the reunification of the country in 1975.

A crucial milestone that boosted bilateral ties was the opening of the Embassy of Việt Nam in Argentina in 1995 and the opening of the Embassy of Argentina in Hà Nội in 1997. Since then, the relationship of the two countries has developed steadily, not only strengthening the links between the governments but also between the people of the two countries.

The ceremony to receive 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the Argentine Government to Việt Nam at Nội Bài International Airport, Hà Nội on November 24, 2021. VNA/VNS Photo

The bilateral relationship between Argentina and Việt Nam is founded on three main pillars.

The first pillar is the excellent political dialogue at the highest and all levels. Indeed, the opening of the Argentine Embassy in 1997 was also the beginning of High Level Delegation exchanges between both countries. In February 1997, President Carlos Saul Menem visited Hà Nội to inaugurate the newly established Argentine Embassy. Later on, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and President Mauricio Macri visited Việt Nam in 2013 and in 2019, respectively. Likewise, President Trần Đức Lương in 2004, Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyễn Văn An in 2006, Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng in 2010 and, most recently, Chairman of the National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ also visited Argentina accompanied by large delegations. These high level visits illustrate how significant and strong the relation between our countries is, despite the geographical distance.

Bilateral trade is the second pillar of the Argentina-Việt Nam relationship. Over the past 10 years, bilateral trade has grown by 700 per cent and reached almost to US$5 billion in 2022. Việt Nam is Argentina's sixth largest trading partner in the world and Argentina is Việt Nam's third largest trading partner in Latin America. One of the main reasons that explains this outstanding performance in commerce is the fact that both economies are complementary and do not compete for the same markets. Argentina is a trustworthy supplier of raw materials and agro-industrial products that Việt Nam incorporates in its production chain, while Việt Nam mostly exports consumer goods with high added value. As such, both countries are looking forward to keeping, increasing and diversifying this solid and sustainable trend and speeding up the market access process of agricultural products.

NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ is welcomed at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires on April 24, 2023. VNA/VNS Photo

The third pillar of the bilateral relationship is Technical Cooperation. Việt Nam is the country in Asia with the highest amount of technical assistance projects provided by Argentina through the South-South and Triangular Argentine Cooperation Fund (FOAR). Argentina has actively shared and transferred agro-industrial working methodologies and technology to improve the production and productivity of many key Vietnamese products, such as rice, corn, soybeans and dairy products, among others. Argentina has also provided assistance in the control and mitigation of foot-and-mouth disease and has transferred know-how and good practices to contribute to human resources training for the identification of the Martyrs of the War.

In the international arena, Argentina and Việt Nam share a common vision and values in many areas such as peace and international security, the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity and how to face global challenges. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam donated 20,000 masks to Argentina. In return for such generosity and when the vaccines where developed, Argentina made a donation of 500,000 doses to Việt Nam.

Both countries also consider that people-to-people exchanges are a crucial aspect of the relationship, especially in the field of culture. For many years, Argentina has had strong cooperation with Vietnamese universities and many cultural events have been organised in Việt Nam to connect with the people. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary, the Argentine Embassy is organising two very important cultural events with the objective of bringing Argentine Culture closer to the Vietnamese audience. As part of the celebrations, the renowned Argentine pianist Mirian Conti, who is also a teacher at the Juilliard School in New York, will perform at the Hà Nội Opera House on May 25 and at the Hồ Chí Minh Conservatory of Music on June 1, along with Vietnamese musicians. The photo exhibition “50 Years 50 Images” of famous Argentine photographers is also taking place this month in Hà Nội at the Complex 01 Art Space Centre.

Despite this sustainable progress, Argentina and Việt Nam have a huge unexploited potential in a wide variety of topics and sectors. That is why the “50th Anniversary” gives us the opportunity to think about how we want to outline the bilateral relationship for the next 50 years for it to keep contributing to the development and growth of both countries and to the increase in the quality of life of the Argentine and Vietnamese people. VNS