The importante of being China for Argentina – February 2022

This newsletter summarizes the trade and economic importance of a balanced relationship with China for Argentina’s financial and economic development.

Last week, Argentina has reached an agreement with the IMF that will provide the country with a much needed sustainable debt agreement. That agreement though extremely important must be accompanied by an aggressive international campaign to attract foreign investments and expansion of trade to meet its obligations. This explains the visit of the President of Argentina to Russia and to Beijing.

Less than a week after Argentina agreed with the IMF on a new $44.5 billion standby deal, a major breakthrough after months of tense talks with IMF officials to restructure a debt that the country could not repay, Fernandez met his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Kremlin to strengthen bilateral cooperation and trade relations.

Beyond the importance of the visit of the Argentine president to Russia, China was the main target of the trip and the one that could trigger more financial and economic benefits for Argentina. In effect:

  1. Argentina became a member of the Belt & Road. This will allow Argentina to sign agreements that guarantee financing for investments and works for more than 23,700 million dollars.
  2. These investments will be developed in two tranches: one already approved for 14 billion dollars under the DECCE mechanism (Strategic Dialogue for Economic Cooperation and Coordination); and a second package for 9,700 million dollars that Argentina will present in the Ad Hoc Group created between both countries.
  3. There was no inclusion of new projects. The main infrastructure projects were reflected in the recent 5th Meeting of the Strategic Dialogue Mechanism for Economic Cooperation and Coordination (Decce).
  4. Among the projects to be signed are a) the Santa Cruz River hydroelectric “Néstor Kirchner and Carlos Cepernic” dams (Gezhouba is the Chinese company involved), b) the rehabilitation of the Belgrano Cargas Norte and San Martín Cargas Railways (CITIC in the first 2 stages), c) the project of AMBA Electric Power Transmission Lines (State Grid showed interest), d) the expansion of the Cauchari Solar IV YV Photovoltaic Park, e) the IV Nuclear Power Plant and f) the “Cerro Arauco” Wind and Solar Park (no name Chinese company yet involved in these three last projects) among others. The agreement will allow Argentina to start the second stage in the construction of the Transportar.Ar Gas Pipeline, which connects Vaca Muerta with the province of Santa Fe, and whose first stage was financed by the Argentine government and which is of the interest of PowerChina.
  5. Part of the credits necessary to fund the projects will be provided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, based in Beijing and to which Argentina has already joined.
  6. On the diplomatic front, the Argentine government officially requested the installation of a General Consulate of the Argentine Republic in Chengdu, with constituency over the Provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, Shaanxi and Yunnan and the Municipality of Chongqing.

Chinese new direct investments

Xiaomi, the Chinese manufacturer of smartphones, will make a millionaire investment to position its brand in Argentina through the assembling of its phones and accessories and the opening of official stores.

The announcement is expected to be made by the company itself within the next 60 days at a special event.

To meet its goal of expansion in the country, Xiaomi agreed to assemble its cell phones in Tierra del Fuego, a province that provides tax advantages and incentives. The Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández has extended the so-called industrial promotion regime for the Province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands (which technically includes British Overseas Territories like the Falkland Islands claimed by Argentina).

In fact, its Redmi Note line quickly became one of the favorite models for users since the launch of the first one more than six years ago. Arguably one of the best Redmi smartphone currently available, the Redmi Note 9 Pro offers a whopping 6GB RAM and a 5020 mAH battery. It also comes with a 6.67-inch LCD screen that has an impressive resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

Although it was established for its smartphones, the firm also has a wide range of items: computers, tablets, televisions, electric scooters, vacuum cleaners, among others. One of his latest announcements was the Xiaomi Car, a 100% electric car that will hit the market in 2024 to compete head-to-head with Tesla, from Tesla Motors, the company of billionaire investor Elon Musk.

This innovative car will be entirely manufactured in Beijing, the Chinese capital, where it will have the capacity to produce more than 300,000 units per year.

“Xiaomi aims to provide high-quality intelligent electric vehicles to its users around the world to enjoy ubiquitous intelligent life,” he said in a brief statement. Argentina already imports six different Chinese cars.

Exports and imports

In 2021, Argentina’s exports to China were 6.16 billion dollars, which marked an increase of 17% year-on-year. Among the main exported products were soybeans (31.6% of the total) and boneless beef (23.7%).

On the other hand, Argentine imports from China reached 13,52 million dollars, implying an expansion of 56% year-on-year. The main imported products were automatic machines for data processing, digital, portable, with 2.8% of the total purchases from that destination, and vaccines for human medicine, with 2.8%.

Main Argentine exports to China

  • Soy beans
  • Beef, boneless, frozen
  • Grain sorghum
  • Raw soybean oil
  • Barley grain
  • Pieces and offal of roosters or hens, frozen
  • Shrimp, prawns and other decapods
  • Malting barley
  • Deveined or deveined tobacco, in dry leaves in a Virginia-type hot air dryer.

Main Argentine imports from China

  • Automatic machines for data processing, digital, portable
  • Vaccines for human medicine
  • Parts for receiving apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, broadcasting, television, video monitors and video projectors.
  • Glyphosate and its monoisopropylamine salt
  • Printed circuits with electrical or electronic components
  • Automatic machine units for data processing
  • Monoammonium phosphate

The above is a compendium of business news from the media.

If you need further information please contact Carlos Alfaro at

Buenos Aires
New York
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