Norway wants a piece of reformed Argentina

Argentine flag, Røe IsaksenArgentine flag. Photo:

Norway wants a piece of reformed Argentina

Minister for Trade and Tourism, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservatives), served advertising for Norway and egg for increased cooperation when he opened a business seminar in Argentina Capital, Buenos Aires.


Argentina used to be one of the world’s richest nations, but political unrest, military dictatorship and very unstable economy made it less attractive to trade with. Now things are much better, and Røe Isaksen is on a state visit together with Argentina with the King and queen this week, in order to strengthen relations between the countries.

On Wednesday, queen Sonja and the Minister of Economy held speeches at the “A New Partnership for Value Creation” seminar at the Palacio San Martin.

– We are in the beginning of a process for a Free Trade Agreement with the Mercosur countries which Argentina is a member of. This will be a topic during my political talks here, says Røe Isaksen to NTB.

Argentina is today only Norway’s seventieth most important trading partner in terms of mainland exports, mostly involving raw materials such as fruits and vegetables, wine, leather, food and mineral oil. Norway primarily exports fertilizers and other chemical products, machinery and technical instruments. Røe Isaksen believes the potential is much larger, and he will have talks with the Argentinian Minister of Production and Minister of Foreign Affairs.


In addition to trade in goods and services, the FTA will cover topics such as investments, intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade and sustainable development. The Norwegian Business Delegation consists of around 40 representatives, mainly from the energy and tourism industries. The interest from Argentina’s side is supposedly also substantial.

– The Argentineans are curious about Norway. 150,000 Argentineans have visited the VisitNorway website in the last year and read about what you can do as a tourist in Norway. That’s 50,000 more than a year ago, says Røe Isaksen, in his capacity as Minister of Tourism.

Commemorated victims

The royal couple had some points of their own on the program Wednesday, among them a visit to the Parque de la Memoria Memorial Park to disperse flowers in the Rio de la Plata River to honour the victims of the military junta. During the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, an estimated 30,000 activists, left wing guerrilla soldiers, unionists, students, journalists and other opponents of the regime disappeared in what is dubbed “The Dirty War” – Guerra Sucia in Spanish.

For decades after the military dictatorship was abolished in 1983, Argentina fought to stabilize the economy. Although democracy was put in place, one economic downturn followed another, with the worst economic crisis occuring in 2001/2002. Since then, the country has fought itself back on track. The election of President Mauricio Macri by 2015 has created further optimism, whose reforms opens for increased foreign investment and trade. Norwegian companies like Statoil and Norwegian Air Shuttle are now making major investments in Argentina.


The last junta leader from the “dirty war” in Argentina is dead

Reynaldo Bignone, the last of the Junta leaders during the dirty war in Argentina, is dead. He died 90 years old.

Bignone took over the power in 1982 after Argentina lost the Falkland’s War to Britain. The military dictatorship lasted from 1976 to 1983, when democracy was restored.

About 30,000 people disappeared during this period, according to human rights groups. It is believed that almost all of them were liquidated.

Bignone was sentenced to life imprisonment for murders, torture and kidnappings. Along with another junta leader, Jorge Rafael Videla, he was also convicted of stealing infants from political prisoners.

As late as 2016, Bignone was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in “Operation Condor”, an operation involving military regimes in several Latin America


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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