Argentine president Mauricio Macri will be visiting India from February 17 to 19 as part of an ambitious bilateral agenda to expand trade and cooperation in a range of sectors including renewable energy, nuclear energy, space and agriculture, aviation, mining (lithium, gold and copper), pharmaceuticals and automobiles.
A framework agreement in Defense is also included in the package that also coincides with the seventieth anniversary of formal diplomatic relations. India has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
After a full day of official meetings in New Delhi, President Marci will leave for Mumbai on February 19, where he will be addressing industry captains at a meeting organized by the industry chambers, besides other official engagements.
Ahead of the state visit, there will be a two-day seminar organized by the Embassy of Argentina in India; the focus will be on technological cooperation in the agriculture sector. Almost 90% of Argentina’s exports to India comprise only soy oil and the Marci government is working towards diversifying this trade basket. Besides Argentina has developed cutting-edge farm technologies and biotechnologies which can help India improve agriculture productivity and reduce post-harvest losses of farm produce, as well as easing of phytosanitary norms.
Regarding energy , India is interested in lithium mining, which is a vital component for the new renewables and electric cars' batteries.
The Marci government has opened the mining sector to foreign development investment, and lithium is used in electric cars and India has set a goal to shift to manufacture of electric vehicles on a large scale by 2030. Indian private companies with support from government are looking into identifying, exploring, acquiring, developing and processing strategic minerals overseas, and with that purpose an Indian delegation has been in Argentina.
As to nuclear energy the two countries have an agreement and Argentina is offering to set up small nuclear plants in India, which is trying to increase the share of nuclear power in its energy mix.
Both countries in 2009 had signed Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. And both have agreed to encourage and support scientific technical and commercial cooperation for mutual benefit in this field.
Likewise the two countries are in talks for developing shale gas. To this day, unconventional resources cannot be exploited commercially, giving exploitation rights exclusively to government players.
ONGC Videsh Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Argentina's YPF. Under the MoU both companies will analyze opportunities for cooperation in the upstream sector in Argentina, India and other countries. ONGC-OVL has started exploration in nearly 50 blocks, while Oil India is working on 3 blocks in Argentina's major shale reserves.