Ambassador of Argentina Leopoldo Francisco Sahores addressed a Webinar organized by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) under the chairmanship of Ikram Sehgal.
The envoy said that a number of agreements and MOUs have been signed between the two governments and it was time to take stock of them, that all those agreements and MOUs, especially in the field of trade and economy, to the benefit of the two peoples of Argentina and Pakistan need to be acted upon.
He reminded of Argentina’s support at the UN, during Pak- India War in 1971 which finally brought in a cease fire under the auspices of UN.
He also acknowledged and thanked Pakistan for Pakistan’s support for the resolution for the negotiation between the Argentina and the United Kingdom.
In order to find a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute related to Malvinas (Falk Land) Island including the maritime areas around those islands.
He added that this existing Institutional framework of MOUs and Agreements would prove successful only when it comes to it its implementation; that we needed to increase people to people contacts especially to diversify the bilateral trade which has a lot of potential.
He added that 70 years of diplomatic relations had been celebrated where the foreign minister was the chief guest.
He said that trade between the two countries was negligible and about 155 millions. Argentina is very competitive Agriculture county and Pakistan though a huge agriculture player, yet depends heavily on food imports to meet the local demands which is a consequence of absolute machinery and technology and scarce use of bio technology, storage deficiency and in this respect a joint venture is being launched between PASCO with a help of Argentina experts technology that will help reduce the loss and damages to the grains.
He also mentioned that foots and mouth disease is of great concern for the beef industry and hinders the dynamic development of export oriented sector in Pakistan too. Argentina was ready for cooperating in vaccination of the cows.
He proposed setting up of Spanish language centers which are one of the UN’s official language and the second largest native language spoken in the world. That this will enable Pakistani students of their ability to study in Argentina.
Replying to a question he said that there was a need to establish bilateral trading forums for increasing the bilateral trade between the two countries.
In respond to another question he said that like Pakistan Argentina has also been negotiating with IMF and had overcome the difficult times when his country had defaulted over return of IMF loans. He was certain that both countries with concerted efforts will overcome their problems with IMF. Before His Excellency, the Former Pakistan Ambassador to Argentina.
Naela Chohan who had been Pakistan’s Ambassador in Argentina talked about the historic links between Argentina and Pakistan.
That relation was very well founded since 1951, that both of the countries have a lot of things in common, especially there consensus on Malvinas and their initial support on Kashmir issue.
That both countries have similar challenges and both peoples are determined to overcome the challenges. She appreciated the recent exchanges of technologies in the fields of aviation wherein Argentina and Pakistan had ordered acquisition GF-17 Aircraft.
The Webinar was concluded by KCFR’s Chairman Ikram Sehgal. He thanked for participation by His Excellency and Naela Chohan and said that there was a lot of common things between the two countries as stated by both of them and there was a lot of needed to be done beyond MOUs in the fields of trade and economic affairs, culture and education, tourism.
He liked His Excellency’s proposal to advance in different fields but especially in agriculture whereas Pakistan was the 5th largest milk producing country but still was not producing exportable cheese that is value addition and welcomed the proposal given by H.E. He added that while Pakistan and Argentina had cooperated in the fields of aviation Pakistan is also producing one of the best tanks in the world which is AL-KHALID tank. The webinar was moderated by the CEO KCFR Commodore (R) Sadeed A. Malik.