Australia and Argentina have a mutually beneficial relationship based on many shared interests. They are both large Southern Hemisphere nations with relatively small populations and strong resource bases. Australia and Argentina agreed in principle to exchange diplomatic missions in December 1959, with Argentina opening its first embassy in Sydney in 1962 (moving to Canberra in 1963) and Australia sending its first ambassador to Buenos Aires in 1964. The countries currently maintain resident embassies in each other’s capitals. The nations have expanded existing links and dialogue on such matters as the role of the UN, international peacekeeping, the defence of democracy and human rights, nuclear and disarmament issues, Antarctica, international environment policy, international trade policy (especially on agriculture through The Cairns Group and on wine through the World Wine Trade Group), and international and regional economic cooperation policies.
Trade with Argentina is modest, with the balance in trade generally favouring Argentina since the onset of its economic crisis in 2001. Two-way merchandise trade exceeded the half-billion dollar mark for the first time in 2008, and reached $991 million in 2013. Australian exports to Argentina totalled $178 million in 2013, and included coal, medicaments and civil engineering equipment. Australian imports from Argentina totalled $812.5 million in 2013, and included animal feed, goods vehicles, soft vegetable fats and oils, and leather. Two-way trade in travel services totalled $63 million, with $19 million in travel services exports from Australia.
There is also strong two-way tourism trade between the two nations. Over 17,000 Argentines visited Australia and over 13,000 Australians visited Argentina in the year ending June 2013.
39 Australian companies operate in Argentina, including 11 ASX200 companies. Australian investment in Argentina is estimated at around A$842million (2012). Sectors of interest include mining, agribusiness, entertainment, port management, freight equipment and workers’ compensation insurance.
Commercial opportunities with Argentina
Export and, in particular, investment opportunities for Australia can be found in mining and most areas of primary production and agribusiness sectors. Opportunities also exist for Australia in the revitalisation of Argentine industry and in the communications, transport and public utilities sectors. Other sectors with promise are environmental management, wine, construction and building materials and high-tech machinery. Argentine student enrollments in Australian institutions in 2012 numbered 280. Further engagement between Australian and Argentine education institutions could see further growth in these numbers. Australian expertise in distance education, vocational training, tele-medicine, English as a second language and postgraduate studies could also find markets in Argentina. Over 13,000 Argentines have visited Australia each year since 2009. With appropriate marketing, tourism has the potential to be grown even further.
Australia-Argentina trade 2008-14 fact sheet (30kb pdf)
All text see Footnote 1.
- Skilled multilingual workforce
- Australian-Hispanic economic relations:
- Australian companies in Latin America
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