A project investigating the potential for trade between the Falklands and Argentina appears to have involved a dearth of research.
Two project researchers from the Tierra de Fuego National University in Argentina spent the second week of this month in the Falklands, collecting information on the potential for an exchange of goods and services to the Islands according to an article published by MercoPress.
The report said the brief of the university’s researchers included contact with “relevant business people” but, to date, enquiries made by Penguin News suggest this was less than comprehensive.
While they had an informal meeting with the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, Andrea Clausen, they did not approach either the Development Corporation or the Seafish Chandlery.
Tim Miller, who is a major importer of fruit and vegetables from Chile said that he was also unaware of the visit, but described its aims as “Fantasy Land” asking how Argentine customs could clear any export paperwork, including an international Phytosanitary Certificate, to a country they refuse to accept exists.
The Falkland Islands are regarded by the Argentine Government as part of the Province of Tierra del Fuego, Apart from the difficulties imposed by Argentina on maritime services to the Islands, the direct importation of goods from Argentina would require acceptance of the legitimacy of the Falklands Government and compliance with its customs regulations.
The visit was part of a project started at the end of 2015 with funds from the University Policies Secretariat. The “exploratory” team that travelled to the Falklands was said to include accountants, Maria Gessage and Ricardo Farías. (Penguin News).