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Foreign Minister Mondino promotes Argentina's role as a global supplier of food and energy during her official visit to Italy

Thursday, 15 February 2024
Information for the Press N°: 

On the last day of her official visit to Italy, Foreign Minister Diana Mondino was received on Thursday, February 15, in Rome by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Giancarlo Giorgetti, to whom she stated that Argentina has great interest in increasing, balancing and diversifying its exports to the Italian Republic.

After giving a detailed description of the country’s economic situation and explaining the structural changes being carried out by the government, Mondino conveyed Argentina’s expectation to receive growing interest from Italian investors. “We are working to re-enter the world in an efficient and competitive way, with the aim of regaining the trust of investors,” she assured. In that context, both Ministers highlighted the historical presence of Italian investments in the country.

Giorgetti ratified the importance of bilateral relations with Argentina and conveyed Italy’s full willingness to help our country, considering that Italy, a member of the International Monetary Fund, presides over the G7 this year.

The Italian Minister said that he perceives that the international community and international credit organizations are clear about Argentina’s critical situation and are willing to help, and for this reason he asked ENEL to continue trusting and supporting Argentina. At the same time, he assured that the support of the Italian public sector (SACE, SIMEST and CDP) is essential for Italian companies to invest in Argentina.

At that point, Mondino stated: “We agree with the Minister, and that is why we have met with the three entities and analyzed programs to support investment in Argentina.” On the other hand, she conveyed her gratitude to Giorgetti for Italy's support in Argentina’s accession process to the OECD.

The Foreign Minister also met with the CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Dario Scannapieco, who explained the operation and objectives of the institution, in particular the “Fondo Italiano per il Clima” aimed at financing investments of public and private entities in emerging and developing countries in order to contribute to international objectives on climate protection. Mondino gave a detailed overview of the Argentine economic situation and the measures adopted for economic deregulation and fiscal order.

The executive said to be aware of the great economic and social challenges faced by Argentina and expressed CDP’s willingness to help considering Argentina's huge potential. He also assured that receiving signals in the right direction will facilitate the provision of funds to finance investments in Argentina, and that the first step could be to resume the CDP's relationship with Fonplata (Development Bank, former Fondo Financiero para el Desarrollo de los Países de la Cuenca del Plata - Financial Fund for Development of the Countries of the River Plate Basin made up of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). The Argentine Minister assured that our country is working in the right direction to encourage these investments.

Mondino then held a working meeting with the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Cindy Hensley McCain. The Foreign Minister stated that “as a country that produces and exports high-quality nutritious foods, we are willing to continue to play a key role in the current international context.”

“We remain strongly committed to the mandate of the World Food Programme 'Saving lives, changing lives' and global food security,” Mondino said, and recalled that “Argentina was confirmed by Latin America and the Caribbean as its regional coordinator for the year 2024.” As examples of Argentina’s international cooperation policy and strategic relationship with the WFP, she mentioned “the participation in the School Meals Coalition and the recent experience in Haiti, where we promoted the Prohuerta Project with the support of France."

The Minister referred to Argentina's willingness to become a more important provider of supplies and food to the WFP and recalled that Argentina had sold more than 22.1 million dollars in food products to the organization over the last 10 years. Argentina’s top diplomat also congratulated the director of the WFP for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 2020 and expressed her solidarity with the families of humanitarian workers who lost their lives carrying out their mission.

Finally, Foreign Minister Mondino met with the Minister of Environment and Energy Security of Italy, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin. They analyzed Argentina's potential as a reliable energy supplier and partner in the development of value chains.

Pichetto Fratin considered that the global energy crisis requires a transition to new clean sources. He added that Italy needs alternatives to Russia and the Persian Gulf as suppliers and that there are Italian companies with the capacity to invest in gas pipelines, installations and extraction (ENI, SNAM).

Mondino highlighted Argentina's potential as a producer of renewable and conventional energies, as well as rare minerals, lithium and copper, and highlighted the need for investments for their exploitation. Pichetto Fratin and Mondino agreed to advance with the development of biodiesel.

She also said that Argentina is not a polluting country and that its pasture farming can contribute to combating climate change. In this regard, she pointed out that our country complies with the environmental agreements and, therefore, the Mercosur-European Union agreement should not be hindered.

Pichetto Fratin