Sunday, August 10, 2008

Argentina beckons

Argentina is preparing to hold a business seminar in Bangkok next week to attract more Thai entrepreneurs.

The South American country hopes to substantially increase two-way trade with Thailand beyond the record $1 billion recorded last year. Argentine exports were worth $500 million, mainly soybeans for animal feeds, soy flour, leather, pharmaceuticals, wine, candies, aluminium and steel products.

Thai exports to Argentina are growing fast after Toyota established a plant in the southern part of the country. Exports include air-conditioners, electronic and electrical goods and automotive parts.

Felipe Frydman, Argentina's ambassador to Thailand, says his government wants to shift the export trend from agricultural to industrial products.

The Argentine delegation will be headed by Jose' Maria Kreckler, the undersecretary of international trade.

The seminar will highlight the potential of the Argentine market and its strong recovery after the crisis of 2001. Argentina's GDP)has risen by an average of 8% over the past six years, rivalling Asian heavyweights such as China and India.

Mr Frydman believes Thai entrepreneurs should look beyond neighbouring countries to Latin America. Argentina has competitive advantages in agriculture and strong potential in several industrial sectors as well. Thai companies are already buying from the country pharmaceuticals, equipment for NGV and refilling stations, nuclear energy technology, steel, leather and the traditional agricultural commodities.

High commodity prices have lifted the disposable incomes of people in many Latin American economies, which in turn increases the opportunities for Thai enterprises to sell to them.

"We are looking forward to this seminar and we hope to have a strong presence of the business community to strengthen the trade relationship between both countries," Mr Frydman said.

Participants will include producers of canned food, chilled and frozen beef, dried fruit, vegetables, fresh fruit, confectionery, milk powder and honey. Companies making upholstery, footwear, luggage and bags and experts in NGV conversion kits will also take part.

To register for the seminar and business rounds, contact the Embassy of Argentina: 0-2259-0401 and 0-2259-9198, or e-mail

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