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G20 Foreign Ministers Meet in Rio de Janeiro: Mondino kicked off her agenda and held bilateral meetings with Brazil, Singapore and the European Union

Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Information for the Press N°: 

In the context of her participation in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held today and tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Foreign Minister Diana Mondino has kicked off an extensive agenda of bilateral meetings, which included working meetings held this morning with her counterparts from Brazil and the European Union (EU) and with Singapore’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

Early in the morning, the Foreign Minister was welcomed by Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s Foreign Minister. They noted the historical ties between both countries, analyzed mutual trade exchanges and ratified that Argentina and Brazil are strategic partners. Mondino explained the reforms promoted by the administration of President Milei and held that, within that framework, there will be no more restrictions on trade with Argentina.

The Argentine Foreign Minister also stressed that, given the broad nature of our common agenda, it is important to promote meetings of area-specific bilateral mechanisms. In this regard, both Foreign Ministers agreed that further joint work should be carried out in border matters and physical and energy integration. Foreign Minister Mondino pointed out that Argentina is interested in attracting Brazilian investments to expand the gas transportation infrastructure, to the benefit of both countries.

They also welcomed the existing cooperation in science and technology and highlighted the strategic relationship existing in nuclear matters, with a central role played by the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), which guarantees trustworthiness in connection with safeguards and is a one-of-a-kind internationally-recognized bilateral institution.

Lastly, Mondino mentioned the Waterway and its central importance for cooperation and integration. In this respect, they analyzed the tax on the payment of services. Mondino added that the Argentine Government expects to strengthen cooperation with Brazil in defence, space and Antarctic matters. In turn, Mauro Vieira especially recognized Argentina’s participation in this G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

Later, Mondino held a working meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Singapore, Maliki Osman, at which they recalled that this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, an ideal occasion to give new momentum to the common agenda on all matters, particularly on cooperation in high technology, trade and investments.

It should be noted that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Mondino and her Singaporean counterpart which will help increase and give a broader scope to bilateral Technical Cooperation in the most diverse areas.

The Argentine Foreign Minister expressed the need to increase and balance mutual trade exchanges and pointed out that the reforms carried out by President Milei will enable a greater flow of Singaporean investments, currently focused in logistics (ports), real estate development, mining and energy.

They both welcomed the Mercosur-Singapore agreement, which will soon enter into force after tough negotiations. This is the first agreement of the bloc with a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), which is also an entrance gate for exports to that region, as it is a logistic and financial hub.

As Singapore constitutes a great potential market due to its need for food to meet the demand from the Singaporean people, Maliki Osman expressed Singapore’s interest in diversifying imports of Argentine agricultural products. At the end, both Ministers stressed that Argentina and Singapore have a strategic relationship, as their economies are complementary rather than competitive.

Then, the Argentine Foreign Minister also held a working meeting with the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles. In this context, both Ministers agreed that the EU is a natural partner of Argentina, as a consequence of the historical relationship that ties Argentina to many EU Member States.

With respect to the bilateral economic agenda, they pointed out that the EU is the 2nd top  destination for Argentine exports and the top investor in Argentina. The stock of European investments in Argentina amounted to USD 56 billion as at June 2023. Mondino affirmed that Argentina wants to reinvigorate its industry with technology and investments.

In connection with the Mercosur-EU Agreement, the Argentine Foreign Minister reiterated that its conclusion is still a priority for the Argentine Government. She also briefed her counterpart on the process of Argentina’s accession to the OECD and together they analyzed the regional and global situation. Mondino also explained to Borrell the reforms promoted by the Argentine Government and the lifting of trade restrictions.

She also pointed out that Argentina is a partner of the EU in energy matters and the development of value chains of critical raw materials. She gave her counterpart an overview of the state of investments for the development of lithium in Argentina and said that Argentina is interested in an extension of financing from the European Bank for investments in new projects.

On the issue of the entry of Argentine biodiesel into Europe, she reiterated that Argentina expects the European Commission to adopt the necessary measures for a continued supply of the product.



Mondino was welcomed by Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s Foreign Minister
Mondino was welcomed by Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s Foreign Minister
Mondino was welcomed by Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s Foreign Minister
Mondino held a working meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Singapore, Maliki Osman
Mondino held a working meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Singapore, Maliki Osman
Mondino also held a working meeting with Josep Borrell