The British Government is re-introducing export credit financial support for UK businesses looking to trade with Argentina after an almost 20 year hiatus. The announcement was made in Buenos Aires as part of a visit to South America by International Trade Minister Greg Hands, covering Argentina, Brazil and Peru.
The minister on Monday confirmed that UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency, will offer up to £1 billion (US$ 1.2bn) of support to help UK companies secure business in Argentina. An updated Air Services Agreement was also signed, making it easier to establish more direct flights between the UK and Argentina to further increase commercial links.
The £1 billion support will help UK companies secure contracts by providing attractive financing terms, loans for delivering projects and insurance against the risks of operating in other countries.
International Trade Minister Greg Hands said that Argentina has huge potential to be a modern vibrant economy, which is why we are reintroducing financial support for UK companies to maximize investment opportunities and wealth creation.
The UK’s world leading expertise in areas like green energy and healthcare are in demand across the world and will form the basis of new trading relationships with South American countries as we leave the EU”.
With bilateral trade between the UK and Argentina at £1.3 billion and growing, the support will provide a boost to UK companies and comes as the Department for International Trade (DIT) announces a new UK-Argentina Commercial Dialogue group with the Argentine Production Ministry.
The dialogue will build on a joint statement from the UK and Argentina in September committing to boosting bilateral trade and investment by helping develop new commercial links and reducing existing barriers.
The International trade minister also signed an updated Air Services Agreement, making it easier to establish more direct flights between the UK and Argentina to further increase commercial links. The agreements come as Argentina’s economy opens up to the world, hosting the G20 Summit next year, and ensures that UK companies are well placed to seize new opportunities in the country.
In Brazil, the minister will visit Rio de Janeiro where he will open the UK Energy in Brazil conference, welcoming Brazilian government officials and over 200 business leaders and investors to a showcase of new UK technologies which can help Brazil’s growing energy sector. In the last three years the sector generated £2 billion worth in contracts for UK companies in Brazil with the support of DIT.
Minister Hands will also meet business leaders in Brazil’s huge mining sector, with investment opportunities estimated at US$ 53 billion in 2014 to 18, where UK expertise can support the sustainable development of Brazilian mining.
Finishing his five day regional tour, in Peru Hands will address a Latin America Infrastructure Development Conference, hosted by DIT and CAF – a development bank which funds projects to improve infrastructure, energy, water and sanitation in South America.
Fifteen UK infrastructure companies are attending, connecting them to leading figures in CAF and the Peruvian government, with the Minister announcing a capacity of US$ 200 million from UK Export Finance to support UK companies to work on CAF projects.
This is part of the department’s work to enable UK businesses to seize opportunities to help deliver US$ 12 billion worth of infrastructure projects planned across South America, such as new railways hospitals, and green energy projects.
The visit will also promote UK expertise in delivering global sports events, ahead of Peru hosting the 2019 Pan-American Games, with potential contracts worth £600 million.