India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Argentina, the South American continent's third-largest economy, for co-operation in agriculture and allied sectors, a statement released by the agriculture ministry said yesterday.
The MoU was signed last week by the Indian agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and Argentine agriculture minister Julian Andres Dominguez at the capital Buenos Aires. Pawar was part of the delegation which visited Argentina following last month's visit by Dominguez to India.
The document provides a framework for exchange of information on best practices and technologies, cooperation in research and development and promotion of trade, investment, and joint ventures, the release said.
Argentina is the continent's second-largest country with a population of over 40 million, and third-largest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $310 billion (2009 CIA estimate), after Brazil and Venezuela. The country is one of the leading exporters of soya and sunflower oils in the world.
India imports its majority requirement of soya oil from Argentina and in the first seven months of the current year imported soya oil worth $1.4 billion. India also imports other agricultural products including sunflower oil from the South American nation.
According to the information provided by the agriculture ministry, 14 Indian companies have invested around $1 billion in Argentina in various sectors such as information technology, agrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.