TOKYO - The president of Argentina on Friday urged Japan to invest in Argentina to develop the Latin American country's untapped human resources and bring to fruition the political reforms undertaken by the government.
"We need to go from being the granary of the world to the supermarket of the world," and for that Argentina needs "to have good partners," Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said at an economic forum between Japan and Argentina in Tokyo on the first day of his two-day visit.
The Argentine leader spoke about the plan to boost infrastructure construction in the South American country and appealed to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Japanese, wishing to have an important stake in making bids, to contribute to the liberal development being pursued by Argentina.
In his address to around 400 Japanese businessmen, Macri spoke about Argentina's plans to expand the exploitation of mineral resources such as the much-in-demand lithium, which has the world's second largest lithium reserves.
"It is difficult to find a country in the world with the growth potential of Argentina," a country "full of human talent and natural resources" that "for lack of a team, coordination and coherence" has a third of its population under the poverty line, something "unjustifiable," Macri declared.
President Macri spoke of his intention to improve the communications infrastructure in Argentina, his aim to push inflation down to single digits and the need for Argentina to become a "reliable, predictable" nation.
Macri acknowledged that the changes and the crisis in Argentina has cooled ties with Japan and its investors and expressed his desire to return to the "innovative" and "transgressive" relationship that the two countries have enjoyed during their 119 years of diplomatic relations.
The Argentine president made these remarks at a forum organized by the Japan External Trade Organization, in which around 100 Argentine and Japanese companies participated, after a working breakfast with the presidents of Japanese companies including Mitsubishi, Honda Motor and Toyota.
Macri's visit was accompanied by the Argentinian finance minister Luis Caputo, minister of agriculture Ricardo Buryaile, transport minister Guillermo Dietrich, production Francisco Cabrera and energy and mining Juan Jose Aranguren who were present at the forum.
After a meeting between members of parliament from both countries, the Argentinian president is scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he will issue a joint statement, followed by a dinner at Abe's residence.