India, Argentina sign three pacts
New Delhi, July 5 (UNI) India and Argentina today signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for cooperation in agriculture, public administration and studies on Antarctica.
The agreements were signed here after a Joint Commission Meeting between the two countries on enhancing cooperation in several areas including agriculture, science and technology, energy, sports and tourism.
The Argentinian delegation was led by the country's Minister of External Relations and International Commerce, Jorge Enrique Taiana, who is currently in India on a five-day visit.
The Indian side was led by Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.
The Argentinian Foreign Mnister also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The MOU between the Agriculture Ministry and Argentina's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food in the field of Agricultural Research was signed by Mrs Sushma Nath, Additional Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, and Mr Fernando Nebbia, Deputy Secretary for Agricultural Policies and Foods of Argentina.
The MOU on Antarctic Cooperation was signed by Mr Arun Kumar Rath, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Ocean Development, and Mr Nestor Stancanelli, Deputy Secretary for International Economic Negotiations of Argentina while the third MOU between the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and Under Secretariat of Public Affairs of the Chief of Cabinet Office of the Argentine Republic was signed by IIPA Director Dr. P.L. Sanjeev Reddy and Ambassador Nora Jaureguiberry, Director of Asia and Oceania of Argentina.
The Argentinian Foreign Minister, who is visiting India after a gap of 12 years, is accompanied by an 80-member delegation including Provincial governors, officials and 50 businessmen. This is the largest-ever Argentinian delegation to visit India.
India's exports to Argentina in 2005 were 269 million dollars and imports 746 million dollars. Main exports of India are engineering products, vehicles, auto-parts, two-wheelers and chemicals. Soya oil accounts for 80 per cent of the total imports from Argentina. The other imports are leather, wool, paper pulp, minerals and metals.
India has concluded a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Mercosur of which Argentina is an important member. The trade with Argentina will be boosted when the PTA becomes effective in the second half of 2006.
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