Buenos Aires: India and Argentina have reaffirmed their commitment to further deepening and diversifying their bilateral cooperation, expanding it in new domains by broadening their strategic partnership to address global challenges like terrorism and climate change.
In a joint statement following the Joint Commission Meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of Foreign Affairs International Trade and Worship Santiago Cafiero here on Friday, the two countries reviewed their ongoing cooperation in the strategic sectors of defence, nuclear energy and space and reiterated their commitment to work together for mutual benefit.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two countries at the multilateral fora.
“Both ministers agreed to closely cooperate in the United Nations and other multilateral organisations to address global challenges of terrorism, security, international and regional peace, climate change, biodiversity loss, equitable trade and sustainable development,” the statement said at the conclusion of Jaishankar’s maiden visit to Argentina.
In a post-pandemic world, facing global geopolitical challenges, India and Argentina reaffirmed their commitment to further deepening and diversifying their cooperation, expanding it in new domains to meet emerging challenges through broadening and deepening their partnership, it said.
Concurring that terrorism and extremism continue to pose a threat to regional and global peace, stability as well as the economic prosperity of societies and peaceful way of life, both countries renewed their resolve to fight against this grave challenge to humanity, it said.
The ministers called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels and halting cross-border terrorism.
“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism, is completely unacceptable to the international community and must be combatted resolutely,” they said.
It was also agreed to enhance cooperation in the defence sector within the framework of the MOU on Defence Cooperation signed in 2019.
Jaishankar, acknowledging Argentine interest in the Made in India TEJAS fighter aircraft for Argentine Air Force, highlighted the importance of the proposal in enhancing the strategic quotient of the bilateral relationship.
“Both sides agreed to promote the exchange of visits between armed forces, defence training and collaboration for joint production of defence-related equipment,” the statement said.
It was agreed to explore areas for deeper cooperation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the Agreement signed between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of India and the National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA) in 2010 as well as the MOU signed between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, under DAE, and CNEA in 2019.
The two ministers also recalled close coordination and support extended to each other in the fight against the COVID pandemic, which yielded remarkable outcomes, both sides resolved to continue working together to fight the menace.
Highlighting its expertise and immense production capacities, India offered tie-ups in vaccine production making Argentina a regional base.
Acknowledging the prowess of pharma sectors in both countries, Jaishankar and Cafiero agreed to promote trade and investments in pharmaceuticals.
India expressed interest in partnering with Argentina for the development of infrastructural projects of transmission lines, roads and highways, railways and in renewable energy including solar, wind, small hydel or biogas. India also offered the expertise of its public and private sector companies, which could also bring attractive financing options, subject to domestic regulations in Argentina.
Noting the growing acceptance and popularity of Ayurveda and its potential to bring immense preventive health and commercial benefits, India requested for recognition of Ayurveda as a primary healthcare system in Argentina.
Considering the increasing risks derived from climate change and environmental degradation, and the growing number of vulnerable communities affected, both ministers noted their cooperation under the ambit of the Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) partnership that aims to promote the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development.
Both sides appreciated the need for closer cooperation in conventional and renewable energy sectors. As Argentina has huge deposits of conventional as well as shale oil and gas, both sides agreed to expedite the conclusion of Indian investments in specific projects in this area, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation in Argentina.
With an intent to promote easy and swifter movement of professionals and businessmen to each other’s country, the two sides agreed to expedite the finalisation of the social security agreement.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the continued healthy pace of growth in the bilateral trade, which despite the global disruption and challenges owing to the pandemic, reached an unprecedented level of USD 5.7 billion in 2021 making India the 4th largest trading partner of Argentina.
To achieve balanced growth of trade, both sides agreed to diversify the trade basket and accelerate market access negotiations.
Both ministers agreed to encourage their respective private sectors to further explore investments in each other’s countries by providing an enabling business climate, identifying and promoting specific investment opportunities and agreed to continue discussions between the two countries.
They renewed their commitment to international cooperation to tackle environmental global challenges and called on developed countries and multilateral financial institutions to increase funding, capacity building and technology transfer for developing countries.
They reaffirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and stressed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion to make it more representative, accountable, effective, and reflective of the contemporary realities of the 21st century.
As the Member States of the Group of 77 in the United Nations, they agreed to continue to work together in multilateral fora to promote the interests of developing countries and promote South South Cooperation.
Both countries reiterated their commitment to the objectives of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India congratulated Argentina as Chair for the period 2022-2023 and Argentina expressed its strong support for India’s membership in the Group.
Argentina and India are committed to supporting multilateralism and international cooperation in promoting and protecting human rights, and in that endeavor, they actively support the essential role of the Human Rights Council, which is currently chaired by Argentina.
The two ministers exchanged views on several regional and global issues. Argentina affirmed its support for India’s upcoming G20 Presidency, including for furthering the development agenda of the Global South in the G20.
It was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Commission Meeting in India in 2023 on mutually convenient dates, the joint statement said.