Argentina is planning to set up a trade office in Dubai. This month, a flock of Argentinian businessmen descended on Abu Dhabi and Dubai to holds talk with their Emirati counterparts about shipping goods to the UAE.
At the same time, the Argentinian government and businessmen held roadshows to demonstrate the investment opportunities in their country.
Argentina is seeking foreign investment in a number of areas: hotels and tourism, agribusiness and renewable energy. If this effort bears fruit, Buenos Aires could become a more common destination for UAE business travellers.
Carlos Bianco, the undersecretary of the ministry of development and investment, painted a rosy economic picture. Growth has averaged 7.6 per cent since 2003, he pointed out, underlining that it is "sustainable growth" with a good distribution across a variety of sectors. He also noted that Argentina has created 5 million jobs since 2003 and has managed to weather the global downturn better than most.
Mr Bianco also noted that Argentina is strategically located within the region. It is Latin America's number one tourist destination by traveller arrivals (although Brazil pips it on tourist expenditure).
The delegation also presented its online database of investment opportunities, called Bapip (for its acronym in Spanish.) The database contains investment opportunities ranging from US$1 million (Dh3.6m).
Germán Herrera Bartis, the national director of investment promotion strategy and trade at Argentina's foreign ministry, highlighted some of the opportunities available. For example, in the food and beverage sector, there is an opportunity to invest in olive groves. The demand for olive oil is growing at a rate of about 3 per cent a year worldwide and with Spain and Greece in crisis, Argentina is well placed to benefit. In the tourism sector, one of the projects is a holiday village about 40km from Iguazu Falls, Argentina's second most popular tourist destination.
The website is bapip.inversiones.gov.ar.