On Monday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China signed agreements concerning nuclear energy, agriculture, and the rehabilitation of a national railroad company. Both leaders declared their intent to strengthen cooperation and announced that they would begin to implement the bilateral accords between 2013 and 2017.
The relationship between both countries has continued to improve since the establishment of a strategic partnership in 2004. In exchange for industrial and consumer products, Argentina exports soybeans and soybean oil to the Asian superpower and counts China as its second largest trading partner after Brazil.
As of now, trade volume has reached US$14.8bn, with an US$8bn trade surplus in China´s favor. The two countries have also promoted similar positions on global climate change and United Nations Security Council reform.
In the current agreements, China is set to give two loans through its Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank that will fund the replacement of 3,200km of the Belgrano freight railroad and facilitate the transportation of ten million tons of grain, oil and minerals from the east to the north of Argentina.
The arrival of the Chinese dignitary in Buenos Aires also marks the beginning of his 3-day visit to South America where he is engaging in talks with other Mercosur nations about a possible free-trade deal.