Wednesday, June 30th 2004 - 21:00 UTC

Double trade in the next four years.

Doubling trade in the next four years is the main commercial objective of the current state visit of Argentine President Nestor Kirchner to China, said Secretary of Economic International Relations Martin Redrado.

"Our goal is doubling bilateral trade with China in the next four years, from 3,2 to 6,5 billion US dollars, making China one of the three main trade partners of Argentina", said Mr. Redrado.

The Argentine official added that China "could mean what Europe represented for Argentina at the beginning of the XX century, the great buyer of Argentine goods".

Mr. Redrado forecasted China could even become a larger trade partner than Brazil where "currently we export below five billion US dollars annually", since trade with China has grown at an impressive 100% rate in the last twelve months.

The Argentine delegation currently visiting China is made up of over two hundred businessmen and top officials from President Kirchner administration's including members of Congress and provincial Governors.

In a brief contact with Argentine media president Kirchner described the results of the visit as "optimum", adding that it's "12 points out of 10".

"President Hu Jintao told us that China's brother and great friend in America is Argentina", revealed President Kirchner.

China is most interested in mutual investments from both sides, (Argentina and China), and establishing a trade association with Mercosur, "but through Argentina, our great friend and brother".

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