Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero Friday met in Rome with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio to broker a deal to make the South American country a steady supplier of food.
Both chief diplomats agreed to set up ministerial round tables with agroindustry and productive development officials from both countries to consolidate Argentina as a stable supplier of food and energy to Italy in an adverse and very unstable world context, Cafiero said.
The probable large-scale landing of Italian energy giant ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) into the Argentine energy market was also discussed. The Italian State-run company was created in 1953. In 2021 it had a worldwide turnover of more than 45 billion Euros, in addition to being listed on the Italian and New York Stock Exchanges.
ENI has been operating in Argentina since 1991 and is present in more than 66 countries with 32,000 workers. It is reportedly starting offshore explorations in the South Atlantic, some 100 km from Argentina's coast in an area of 4,418 km2. The Italian form is also said to be interested in investing in Vaca Muerta.
Cafiero was escorted by Buenos Aires' Ambassador to Rome Roberto Carlés and Foreign Ministry Cabinet Chief Luciana Tito.
The Argentine delegation thanked Di Maio for Italy's support during recent negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Resolving the debt crisis for our country implies that economic growth should not be halted and Italy played a fundamental role for Argentina to achieve it, Cafiero stressed.
Both foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Ukraine war.
Cafiero, representing Argentina's role as pro-tempore president of CELAC, also asked Di Maio for Italy's endorsement to develop a CELAC-EU dialogue platform, it was reported.
Italy is Argentina's third European partner and the 15th foreign investor in the country, with over 250 companies employing some 50,000 workers.