Ambassador Jorge Roballo of Argentina in Seoul said, “We are delighted to observe that Korean companies have shown interest in the new opportunities presented by Argentina.” Speaking at a reception he hosted at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on May 25, 2017 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the May Revolution of Argentina, Ambasador Roballo said: “The Argentine government has identified investment opportunities in multiple sectors, such as energy, mining, transportation, telecommunications and infrastructure. We know the experience and capacity of Korean companies to develop or participate in projects like these. Therefore, we invite more Korean companies to keep an eye in the country, identifying and developing business opportunities.”
The reception was attended by many distinguished guests from both Korean society and the international community, who included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho for Economic Affairs. From the media came Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, operating three English and two Korean-language news media outlets.
Excerpts from Ambassador Roballo’s speech:
H.E. Ambassador Lee Tae-ho, deputy minister for economic affairs of the ministry of foreign affairs of the republic of Korea, honorable members of the Korean government, honorable members of the national assembly, his excellency archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, ambassador of the holy see and dean of the diplomatic Corps, distinguished colleagues, heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Korea, honorable director general for Latin American Affairs of the ministry of foreign affairs, Mr. Huh Tae-wan, representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps, Ladies and gentlemen.
It is with great honor that I address to you tonight on the Occasion of the “207th anniversary of the May Revolution”, the patriotic and social movement that in 1810 gave birth to a great country, the Argentine Republic. It is an honor indeed to remember it today, as it then marked the start of the independence movement not only in Argentina but also on the entire South America. I would like to thank the deputy minister for economic affairs of the ministry for foreign affairs, Ambassador Lee Tae-ho, for accompanying us in representation of the Korean Government.
Also, I would like to extend our heartful congratulations to the people of the republic of Korea for the election of Mr. Moon Jae-in as the new president of the republic, to whom we send our best wishes for a successful administration striving for a peaceful and reunited Korean peninsula during his tenure as a head of state. Argentina and Korea have established diplomatic relations. In 1962 and this year -2017- we are celebrating the “52nd Anniversary of the first Korean immigration to our Country”. I must say, the Korean community in Argentina (around 30 Thousand) was and still is a referent and a model of dedication to work, to peaceful integration and coexistence and for sharing its devotion to strong values such as family, solidarity and respect for each other.
Ladies and gentlemen, In 1983, after so much struggle and a long process for social evolution and political stability, Argentina became again a genuine democracy, with its entire institutions operative, promoting social justice, reducing poverty while consolidating economic development. In multilateral forums we actively promote the values of democracy, the importance of freedom of the people, full respect to human rights, national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as multilateralism, the strengthening of international law and world peace, humanitarian assistance and the democratization of International organizations.
As you may know, since December 2015, we have a new government headed by President Mauricio Macri, who’s main objectives are precisely the reduction of poverty and raising the standard of living of the people. After taking office, the president acted quickly to implement relevant reforms in order to return the country to one that promotes sustainable economic development, social inclusion and integration into a global economy.
In 2016, Argentina experienced a difficult transition cycle but the economy started to take the first steps on the road to growth. After recovering from a period when our national economic system was in a serious financial imbalance and Argentina experienced global isolation, recent economic data shows that the country had emerged from recession on the third quarter of 2016.
Economic conditions are improving in several ways: the recovery of the manufacturing activity and consumer spending; the inflation rate is slowing down; employment and exports are increasing and an important development of the internal financial system is on the way. The attraction of productive and long-term investments is vital to create jobs and real development. In other words, with all the measures taken, the Government of president Macri rejuvenated the business environment, reestablished trust and international credibility in the financial markets, all of which allowed the country to rejoin with optimism the world economic system. Furthermore, the argentine government is willing to take an active role on the international scene, as it will organize the “WTO ministerial conference” in December 2017; will assume the presidency of the “G20” in 2018; keeps working closer with the “OECD”; holds the pro tempore presidency of “MEROSUR” and “UNASUR” while partaking as an observer in the pacific alliance. All these actions have resulted in a growing interest among domestic and foreign entrepreneurs in doing business in Argentina.
Today, foreign companies and governments show optimism, as they perceive Argentina as a thriving place for the expansion of productive investments. This excitement is not only limited to our historic trading partners.
We are delighted to observe that several Korean companies have shown interest on the new opportunities presented by Argentina. The Argentine government has identified investment opportunities in multiple sectors, such as energy, mining, transportation, telecommunications and infrastructure. We know the experience and capacity of Korean companies to develop or participate in projects like these. Therefore, we invite more Korean companies to keep an eye in the country, identifying and developing business opportunities. Koreans are known for their expertise and for their long term planning. So, the interest of companies such as “Posco”, “Korean aerospace industries”, “Hyundai energy and Construction”, “Samsung electronics” among others, gives us much confidence for the future of our bilateral relations. Argentina has always maintained cordial and friendly bilateral relations and broad cooperation with the republic of Korea, and especially we have developed a quite good Cooperation and understanding on international organizations, where we have always claimed for the security and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In this regard, the argentine republic has always expressed it strongest condemnation of the provocations of the “democratic people’s republic of Korea”, in clear violations of the international obligations stated on the resolutions of the united nations security council. Furthermore, we keep working in many imperative issues such as the opening of the Korean market for beef, poultry, citrics and other argentine products, as well as in several other fields, such as education, environment, forest resources, etc.…because we share the views on the benefits of science and education in order to achieve prosperity for our citizens.
The balance of trade has been maintained in the last few years, despite fluctuations on the international market. Korea is our important trading partner in Asia, together with China and Japan. I hope that our diplomatic, social, economic and commercial relations as well as our mutual cooperation and understanding will further increase in the years to come. Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you very much for accompanying us tonight..! Please, enjoy the evening and -especially- the quality of our wines, imported by the Korean companies “Shindong wine” and “Keumyang international”, who are always ready to promote our products in the Korean market. Also, I would like to express my gratitude to “Posco” and “Korean aerospace industries (kai)” for their invaluable Patronage. To them go my deep and grateful appreciation.