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Strengthening Argentina-India Bilateral Relations Through Foreign Policy Alignment

Updated: Mar 21

In February 2024, Argentina and India celebrated 75 years of diplomatic relations, reflecting upon their shared journey, and envisioning a future of enhanced partnership. In a world characterized by interconnectedness and interdependence, the significance of bilateral relations between nations cannot be overstated. Among the myriad of diplomatic ties that shape global politics and economics, the relationship between Argentina and India stands as a beacon of potential yet to be fully realized. 


An illustration on strengthening India-Argentina Relations

.Illustration by The Geostrata.


As emerging powers on the global stage, despite being geographically distant, these two nations share a wealth of commonalities and complementary interests that lay a strong foundation for collaboration to promote peace, security, and sustainable development. Aligning foreign policies to collaborate on regional and global issues can amplify their influence and contribute to global stability. Multilateral forums such as the United Nations or the G20, provide platforms for joint action on pressing challenges, including climate change, food security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity


The global south identity binds Argentina and India. This shared identity enhances their ability to advocate for the interests of developing nations within multilateral frameworks, amplifying their impact on global decision-making processes.

Additionally, Argentina's aspirations to join BRICS, a group representing some of the largest emerging economies, reflects its commitment to strengthening ties with other major players from the global south. By coordinating their efforts within multilateral forums and initiatives like BRICS, Argentina and India can effectively leverage their collective influence to address pressing global challenges and promote the interests of the global south.


Both nations share a history of diplomatic relations dating back to the 1940s. Over the years, the bond between these nations has evolved, marked by high-level visits, cultural exchanges, and trade growth.

However, the full potential of their partnership remains largely untapped. The ties between these nations have deepened over the years, marked by significant milestones and bilateral engagements. India opened a Trade Commission in Buenos Aires in 1943, which later evolved into one of the first Indian Embassies in South America in 1949. Similarly, Argentina established a Consulate in Calcutta in the 1920s, which was subsequently moved to Delhi as an Embassy in 1950. The presence of these diplomatic missions underscores the long-standing commitment of both countries to fostering bilateral cooperation.


The recent years have witnessed a series of high-level engagements between Argentina and India, signaling a commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation. Notably, Former Defense Minister Jorge Taiana's visit to India in July 2023 marked the first bilateral visit by an Argentine Defense Minister.


During his discussions with Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh, avenues for enhancing defense cooperation and .defense industrial partnership were explored, underlining the growing strategic ties between the two nations.

Furthermore, Former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Daniel Filmus, paid an official visit to India in February 2023, further cementing the foundation for collaboration in science and technology.


Within the framework of the Malvinas 40 Years Agenda, Former Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero launched the Commission for the Malvinas Dialogue in India, alongside Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, endeavoring to uphold United Nations resolutions and international declarations regarding the Malvinas Islands, while facilitating peaceful negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom, in adherence to international law.


This agenda reflects the non renounceable objective of the Argentine people to recover the full exercise of its sovereignty over the Islands, grounded in solid legal argumenta. Simultaneously, it acknowledges India's profound commitment to the global decolonization process, exemplified by its pioneering role as an original member of the United Nations Decolonization Committee. Within this context, the relationship between Argentina and India in the field of decolonization emerges as paramount.


Such initiatives not only underscore the significance of the Malvinas issue in Argentine foreign policy but also provide a vital platform for enhancing bilateral relations with India, highlighting the shared commitment to advancing the principles of decolonization on a global scale.

Central to strengthening Argentina-India bilateral relations is the pursuit of economic cooperation. Aligning foreign policies to facilitate trade and investment can unlock new avenues for growth. Simplifying trade procedures and fostering a conducive business environment are imperative steps in this direction. Bilateral trade agreements can provide the necessary framework to incentivize cross-border investments and enhance market access for goods and services from both nations.


Identifying key sectors for collaboration is crucial in maximizing the benefits of partnership. Argentina's expertise in agriculture complements India's advancements in technology and pharmaceuticals, offering fertile ground for cooperation.

Aligning foreign policies to encourage research partnerships, technology transfers, and skill development initiatives can catalyze innovation and drive economic growth. Joint ventures and knowledge exchange programs can further amplify the impact of sectoral collaboration, benefiting both economies.


The establishment of the India-Argentina Business Council (IABC) in October 2020 has played a key role in fostering business ties between the two nations. Comprising Argentina's leading industries, exporters, and importers, the Council has organized several business forums and seminars, providing a platform for collaboration and networking. The active participation of companies from both countries reflects the growing interest in exploring business opportunities and strengthening economic ties.


Argentina-India bilateral trade had significant growth in recent years, with trade volumes more than doubling from 2019 to 2022, peaking at $6.4 billion in 2022. India emerged as Argentina's 4th largest trading partner in 2021 and 2022.

However, challenges such as severe drought in Argentina and subsequent economic slowdown impacted bilateral trade, which settled at $3.9 billion in 2023. Despite these challenges, both countries remain committed to revitalizing trade relations, leveraging their strengths in sectors such as agriculture, technology, and pharmaceuticals.


Both Argentina and India have actively pursued investment and collaboration opportunities across various sectors. Several Indian companies, including TCS, Mahindra Comviva, and Infosys, have set up operations in Argentina, with a total investment exceeding US$1 billion. Similarly, Argentina has made investments in India's IT services and engineering sectors, with companies such as Globant and TECHINT.


In February 2023, OVL Ltd and YPF, Argentina's public sector company, signed agreements to promote cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Additionally, the first overseas acquisition of lithium resources by India's state-owned KABIL further underscores the potential for collaboration in strategic sectors.

Empowering citizens through grassroots initiatives and civil society engagements is essential in building a strong bilateral relationship. Fostering people-to-people ties through cultural exchanges, academic collaborations, and youth participation programs. By involving citizens in the diplomatic process, both nations can instill a sense of ownership and commitment to bilateral cooperation. People-centric approaches complement top-down foreign policy efforts, ensuring that the partnership between Argentina and India is inclusive and sustainable.


One striking aspect of Argentina-India relations is the shared passion for football, particularly the Argentine national soccer team and its legendary captain, Lionel Messi, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries.


Cultural diplomacy serves as a powerful tool in fostering mutual understanding and appreciation between nations.

Fostering initiatives such as exchange programs, cultural festivals, and educational partnerships. By promoting cross-cultural dialogue and facilitating cultural exchanges, both nations can nurture lasting connections that transcend geographical boundaries.


As they navigate the complexities of the global landscape, strategic alignment of foreign policies will serve as the cornerstone for building a robust and enduring relationship. By seizing the opportunities for collaboration and addressing the challenges together, they can chart a course towards a future of shared prosperity and success on the world stage.


 

BY PABLO RUSSO


Pablo Russo is an experienced global government affairs professional with a background

in digital diplomacy, strategy and operations, and the emerging markets of Latin America.

He holds a Degree in International Relations (UB). He served as Chief of Staff to the Ambassador of Argentina to the United States, and G20 Sherpa, and he was Youth20 delegate for Argentina in India 2023. His wide variety of experiences from diplomacy,

think tanks and digital communication stem from his passion for the diversity of

learning and the liberal arts.


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3件のコメント


Strategic investments, partnerships and cultural diplomacy have truly fostered such long relations.

いいね!

Nidhi Soni
Nidhi Soni
3月19日

Wonderful article on 75 years of bilateral relations with different areas of cooperation

いいね!

Informative read about India-Argentina ties

いいね!
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