This year Argentina celebrates the 211th Anniversary of the May Revolution, that fundamental day since our country began –back in 1810- to tell the whole world its willingness to take the road of sovereignty, development and international commitment as a new Nation.
Regarding the bilateral relationship between Argentina and Romania, I’m very proud to say that it can be described as excellent, with a constant increasing trend over the recent years, where the commercial ties represent an important factor for making the bilateral cooperation more dynamic and fruitful. Turning back in the time, I must remember the fact that the first official contact between Argentina and Romania took place 141 years ago and 90 years ago (in 1931) Argentina opened his first official Diplomatic Mission to Bucharest. Therefore, we can speak about 141 years of diplomatic relations between our countries, ones of the longest diplomatic ties between two countries separated by over 12.000 km. Argentina and Romania overcame the distance barrier and began a relationship between the two countries separated by miles and miles of distance, apparently different, but in fact having a common Latin background.
Talking about the commercial relations, we should mention that a large volume of the Argentine exports to Romania are represented by processed foodstuffs and prepared foods for animals, especially soybean meal (soybean pellets). Citrus and others occupy second place in Argentine exports, followed by oil steel pipes. Regarding imports, the main Romanian products imported by Argentina were: vehicles components, electric boilers and equipment, electrical lighting, signaling equipment and nitrogen fertilizers. Argentina ranks third among the trading partners of South America and the second country of origin for the merchandise imported into Romania from this geographical area.
It´s also important to highlight that in the last years agriculture has been identified as a high potential area for bilateral cooperation projects and, in this sense, meetings and visits have been carried out both with high official institutions in Romania and with the local private sector.
We can also be very satisfied of the fruitful achievements in many levels, with a significant number of bilateral agreements in several areas. At the moment, we are very close to sign other five very important bilateral agreements in different fields like: Culture, Social Security, Agricultural Technology, Security and Environment. The excellent Political cooperation between our two countries is one more shown by the creation – on past May 11th– of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Argentina within the Romanian Senate which gives us the opportunity to strengthen the cooperation on parliamentary level too.
It is also worth mentioning the constant and growing presence of Argentina in Romania through culture. The Argentine tango music and dance are enjoying an increasing success in Romania. There are real tango communities expressing themselves through these elements so representative of our culture. This community, formed by Romanian tango dance schools and tango lovers, gathers frequently and communicates through tango, organizing periodically events – called “milongas”- exactly like those held in Buenos Aires.
In terms of the presence of the Argentine literature in Romania, it is fundamental to stress the potential of the “Programa Sur” translation project for Argentine authors -promoted by the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Relations. Thus, works of great Argentine writers have managed to come closer to the Romanian readers, being very much appreciated.
Construction of different contact points and seeking common interest in order to bring people together is a main diplomatic function. All the experience gained through many diplomatic meetings over the years stands as a testimony for the sustainability of our bilateral relations. Argentina and Romania have reached a consensus, because they have the same criteria for the construction of a society, based on the principles of democracy and respect for the rule of law, human rights and diversity.
Our two countries have developed a fruitful diplomatic relationship, fueled by numerous joint commissions, political consultations, reciprocal presidential visits and high-level meetings. Both countries share a strong commitment to democracy and its values, and the respect for multilateralism and international law and there is no doubt that we are friend nations, with common values and a friendship based on mutual respect and collaboration. We have an excellent bilateral relationship, which we will certainly deepen.
The last year has been a special one due to the pandemic in which social activities and interaction with people were diminished and we had to focus on the Argentines stranded here for several months as a result of this situation. Fortunately, they were all able to return to their homes and little by little they began to resume their lives.
Only in 2021, with the vaccination campaign carried out by Romania, it has been possible to return to a state where the situation is stabilizing.
To conclude, I would like to stress that sovereignty means also togetherness, joining up efforts for the common good and cooperation. That is why, I think that the mutual commitment to further strengthening and enhancing the excellent relations that Argentina and Romania are enjoying nowadays is a duty that both honors and brings me a lot of joy.