Sánchez emphatically shows his support and solidarity with Argentina to overcome the health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic

President's News - 2021.6.9

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

During their meeting, in which great harmony was evident concerning multilateral and regional matters between Latin America and Europe, the two presidents discussed bilateral relations, economic and trade issues, the fight against the pandemic and universal access to vaccines against COVID-19.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has conveyed to Fernández "the solidarity of the Government and the people of Spain in these difficult times that Argentina is experiencing as a result of COVID-19" and has stressed that, despite the difficulties of the pandemic, now is the time to concentrate efforts to rebuild our societies "in a more sustainable, equitable, fair, inclusive and resilient way".

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaSánchez and Fernández have agreed on the need to continue supporting multilateralism so they can jointly face great global challenges such as climate change and universal access to the vaccine. Sánchez added that "two progressive governments like those of Spain and Argentina have to lead this debate within the international community". Spain is leading and promoting several initiatives in the fight against the pandemic, and has recently announced the donation of 22.5 million vaccines through COVAX, of which 7.5 million will go to Latin America, and 50 million euros for the GAVI vaccination alliance with the clear aim of "not leaving anybody behind".

The Prime Minister stressed that both leaders agree on the need for an international financial framework that is inclusive of middle-income countries. Our country supports Argentina in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club to settle its debt. "The Argentine government and society know that they can count on Spain. We are a faithful friend on the international stage, as we have always shown," said Sánchez. Moreover, Spain is one of the promoters of the EU-Mercosur Agreement, whose ratification and entry into force will allow both countries to collaborate with each other even more intensely.

Shared business history

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe presence of 300 Spanish companies in Argentina, which generate 92,000 jobs, and the firm desire to remain in the country, are evidence of good trade relations. Spain is also the second largest investor in Argentina and the two countries maintain close trade relations, which in 2020 reached 2.06 billion euros.

As a result of this commercial interest, the presidents have just brought a Spanish-Argentine business meeting to a close, that brought together Spanish companies from numerous sectors: telecommunications, aviation, electricity, finance and gas; toll road management, waste and water treatment, construction, digital transformation consultancy and information technology, among others. In this sense, Sánchez has pointed out the interest in delving deeper into other issues, such as technological innovation in defence and shipbuilding.

"We believe in Argentina's potential and we want our companies to help make it a reality, with a fairer and more sustainable model, and an inclusive recovery," said the chief executive.

Agreements between Spain and Argentina

The interest in strengthening the bilateral relationship has been formalised with the signing of the 2021-2023 Action Plan, within the framework of the Strategic Partnership Plan, in order to identify joint proposals to counteract the economic and social consequences caused by the pandemic. This Plan seeks to strengthen issues and elements such as multilateralism, democracy, respect for human rights, sustainable development and gender equality, with a special emphasis on the ecological transition and the digital transformation.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe two countries have also agreed on the joint declaration 'Advancing Gender Equality' to eliminate violence against women and girls; and to support economic empowerment and rights; resolutions on women, peace and security; and sexual and reproductive rights.

Sánchez and Fernández have agreed on a declaration of commitment to exchange diplomatic archival documentation to shed light on major human rights violations during the last Argentine dictatorship and to contribute to the reconstruction of memory, truth and justice.

Remembrance of the victims and meeting with Spaniards in Argentina

After the appearance, the President of the Government will visit the former Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA), a place that was used as a detention and torture centre during the last dictatorship and which has now been converted into a space for the memory of the victims and for the promotion and defence of human rights.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaBefore travelling to Costa Rica, the second and last country on his Latin American tour, Sánchez will end his trip to Argentina with a meeting with representatives of the Spanish community, which, with almost half a million people, is the largest in the world. The meeting will take place at the Hotel de Inmigrantes, where thousands of Spaniards stayed when they first emigrated to Argentina. On this issue, and in the presence of Fernández, the President of the Government stressed: "This country welcomed them with generosity and a spirit of solidarity for which Spain will always be grateful".

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