By Mark Kent (*) - The following piece was written in support of The Buenos Aires Herald 140th anniversary, 15 September 1876/2016.
140 years of journalism is a significant anniversary worthy of great celebrations and I send my heartfelt congratulations to the entire team at the Buenos Aires Herald. Every year of history of the Herald is one more year of history for the British community in Argentina, offering a dedicated space to provide information in English to the local community.
Since its creation, the Herald has adapted to the times and challenges of the day, always defending the values of independent journalism and human rights by the hands of excellent professionals such as Robert Cox, Andrew Graham-Yooll and James Neilson.
I hope that you will continue to cover the news agenda with these same values and adapt to the changes facing Argentina but also the wider world. They are not unique. It is the same for the UK and for our Embassy, we are also adapting to the changes of a new bilateral relationship and as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. Both factors stimulate a more dynamic, outward facing approach to the work of this Embassy, in which cooperation with the media will play an important part. Throughout my career I have been supportive of a free and active media necessary for any society to continue developing.
We are witnesses and participants of a new chapter in the bilateral relationship between Argentina and the UK. As ambassador I am pleased to say that both countries are working together with the object of strengthening ties and strategic partnerships. We have many interests in common such as the fight against corruption and international security. And I can say that after 200 years of ties, Argentina remains for the UK a key partner in all aspects: culture, education, economic and political.
Argentina offers opportunities for British companies in sectors such as oil and gas, minerals and agriculture, as well as infrastructure works that accompany the growth in these sectors. Likewise, we consider that opportunities exist to support the growth of Argentine industry with technology and with investment and capital to promote these projects. There are numerous opportunities as well in a wide range of services and associated technologies, for example the retail business and urban security.
With the same enthusiasm and confidence that we face these changes, the UK is facing the exit from the EU. To those who say that the UK is moving away from the centre of the international scene – the answer is a resounding no. We are building a new future from a position of strength, looking outwards, setting our attention on the international field and preparing with open arms to welcome new opportunities that will follow Brexit. The UK will continue to grow and move forward, and will remain a solid ally and a reliable partner, and our creativity and capacity to innovate will not diminish in any respect. While the nature of our relationship with the EU is yet to be defined, we want the strongest possible economic link with our neighbors in Europe, as well as our friends in North America, the Commonwealth and other important partners from around the world, including the Mercosur.
We are the same country that we have always been, outward facing, with a global mentality and grand aspirations. Our country continues to be open for business. The fundamental bases of the British economy are solid and will continue to be so. Employment is at a historical high, since 2010 almost a million new businesses have been created in our country and the budgetary deficit has been cut by almost two-thirds.
Leaving the EU now offers us the opportunity to shape a new role for ourselves in the world, to negotiate our own commercial trade agreements and to be a positive and powerful force for free trade.
We hold fast to a vision of Britain that is respected abroad, tolerant and welcoming at home, engaged in the world and working with international partners like Argentina to advance the prosperity and security of our nation and wider world for generations to come. We hope that the Buenos Aires Herald will continue to follow this positive trajectory too.
(*) Mark Kent is the British Ambassador to Argentina.