Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is currently on a working visit to Argentina. Having concluded his participation in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 21 May 2018, Minister Balakrishnan had a series of bilateral meetings with Argentine leaders on 22 May.
Minister Balakrishnan called on President Mauricio Macri and had separate bilateral meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Jorge Faurie; Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation Lino Barañao; and Senator of the Province of Buenos Aires Esteban José Bullrich. On the same day, Minister Balakrishnan hosted dinner for Minister of Treasury Nicolás Dujovne, Minister of Finance Luis Andrés Caputo, and Minister of Modernisation Andrés Horacio Ibarra.
At their meeting, Minister Balakrishnan and President Macri reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship, and welcomed the re-opening of the Argentine Embassy in Singapore in September 2017. Both leaders established their commitment to conclude negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) before the end of 2018, and to commence negotiations on an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) as soon as possible. President Macri also conveyed Argentina’s support for the proposed Singapore-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Both leaders agreed that progress on the BIT, DTA, and Singapore-MERCOSUR FTA would send a strong signal of Argentina and Singapore’s commitment to free trade and open markets. Minister Balakrishnan reiterated the outstanding invitation for President Macri to visit Singapore.
During the meeting with his counterpart Jorge Faurie, Minister Balakrishnan welcomed Minister Faurie’s forthcoming visit to Singapore in August 2018 to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia during the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM). He also thanked Minister Faurie for agreeing to brief the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on Argentina’s G20 Presidency during the AMM. Both ministers agreed on the importance of strengthening cooperation between ASEAN and MERCOSUR. To this end, they expressed their support for the continuation of regular high-level ASEAN-MERCOSUR meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week in New York.
Minister Balakrishnan will meet the Mayor of Buenos Aires City, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, later today before returning to Singapore.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
23 MAY 2018
Meeting between President of the Argentine Republic Mauricio Macri and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 22 May 2018 [Photo credit: Press Office, Presidency of the Nation, Argentina]
Meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Jorge Faurie and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 22 May 2018 [Photo credit: MFA]