BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine government and the United Kingdom on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to “increase, promote and develop trade and investment” and an agreement designed to improve air connections between the two nations, officials said.
Within the framework of a visit by British Trade and Investment Minister Greg Hands and other British authorities, the two governments agreed to engage in a trade dialogue to promote “trade and investment with the objective of achieving economic growth, improving competitiveness through innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and sustainability.”
The memo was signed by Argentine Production Minister Francisco Cabrera and emphasizes key areas such as “supporting a favorable environment for the free, secure and transparent circulation of goods and the provision of services ... (and) promoting the cooperation and association among companies,” said the ministry in a statement.
In addition, it seeks to favor initiatives from the two countries’ private sectors and, to do that, the UK Export Finance, the British government’s export credit agency, agreed to offer export loans totaling up to 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) to British firms seeking to pursue trade with Argentina.
“This agreement with the United Kingdom strengthens our position as a destination for productive investment, which brings to us more development opportunities,” said Agentine Finance Minister Luis Caputo after meeting with Hands.
“With this kind of financial agreement, foreign trade with Argentina is being favored and that means creating more and better jobs,” said the official, according to a statement by his ministry.
The support will help British companies obtain contracts – by providing attractive financing terms for loans – to carry out projects and secure insurance against the risks of operating in other countries.
The British delegation also signed an agreement with the Argentine Transportation Ministry to increase flights between the two countries.
Air Services director Mark Bosly signed the agreement for the UK.
British authorities proposed using Norwegian Air – in addition to British Airways – to provide the air services between the countries and Argentina accepted that recommendation.
About 100 British firms operate in Argentina and the UK contributes more than $2 billion in direct foreign investment to the South American country.