People of New Zealand and Argentina are developing ever closer connections through sport, culture and tourism. There remains much about today’s Argentina that New Zealanders know little about, but this is an ever-changing relationship. 

In this seminar, three distinguished speakers from Argentina’s Council for International Relations (the country’s equivalent to the New Zealand Institute for International Affairs) discussed how Argentina views the Asia-Pacific region, China’s influences on their country and how relations between Argentina and New Zealand are important. 

The Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, in conjunction with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, were fortunate enough to host these guest speakers at the lunchtime seminar held in Wellington. 

Former ambassador Eduardo A. Sadous– Director, Committee on Asian Affairs CARI; Dr. Jorge Malena – Council member CARI; and Patricio Giusto – Council member CARI, gave us some insights into trade, tourism and the importance of the relationship between New Zealand and Argentina.  

In this seminar it was noted that China was now Argentina’s second-largest trading partner, after Brazil and ahead of the US, and Chinese investment was present in almost all sectors in Argentina. The Chinese market represented US$3 billion of exports to the country, with Vietnam at US$2 billion. 
 
Former ambassador Sadous, noted that Argentina and Vietnam’s close economic relationship had developed during the Vietnam War, and continued today through the export of a vast supply of foodstuffs, predominantly soya beans, which was a key commodity in Argentina’s export trade. The Ambassador identified, however, that there was plenty of scope for diversification, with two-thirds of Argentina’s beef exports now heading to China, and Japan showing interest in the beef of Patagonia. 

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