Official visit by the President of the Kingdom of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, on 10 April

On 10 April 2018, the President of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, received the President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, who made the first official visit to Argentina by a Spanish president in over 17 years. President Rajoy was accompanied by two large government and business delegations.

The various government meetings and parallel events held demonstrated the willingness of the governments and business and academic sectors of both countries to work together, as well as their shared commitment towards strengthening the bilateral relationship in all respects, reaching bi-regional agreements and jointly tackling global challenges.

The Presidents held a working meeting during which they reviewed the progress made as regards the implementation of the Plan of Action for Strengthening the Strategic Partnership signed in 2017 and new projects were defined. In addition, they agreed to broaden the scope of joint work on issues pertaining to defence, security, the fight against drug trafficking, judicial assistance, human rights, gender, consular, cultural and educational affairs, conservation and sustainable use of transboundary fishery resources in areas of common interest, and the modernization of the Government. They also addressed issues relating to health, environment, sustainable urban development, water resources, risk reduction and humanitarian aid.

Posteriormente ofrecieron una conferencia de prensa en la que dieron cuenta de los temas de la relación bilateral y otros asuntos de interés común como el estado de situación de la negociación del Acuerdo Mercosur-Unión Europea. El Presidente Macri afirmó que "nunca estuvimos tan cerca de un acuerdo y esta vez hay que hacerlo realidad". Por su parte, Rajoy elogió la mayor "previsibilidad y seguridad jurídica" en la Argentina, destacó la "potente presencia empresarial española" y que las empresas de su país "están comprometidas y tienen vocación de permanencia".

Moreover, the Presidents addressed the organization of the Eighth International Congress of the Spanish Language, which will be held in the city of Córdoba in March 2019 and will promote debate on the cultural and economic potential of the Spanish language and cultural industries. This is the second time that Argentina will host this important international event, following the Congress held in the city of Rosario in 2004. The opening ceremony of the Congress is expected to be attended by their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, whom President Macri has invited, through President Rajoy, to make a State Visit to Argentina on a date to be set, as a gesture of reciprocity for President Macri's visit to Spain in 2017.

Although the agenda was focused on new investment opportunities for Spanish companies in the context of renewed legal certainty and a favourable business environment in Argentina, five cooperation agreements were signed, including a Youth Mobility Programme (Working Holiday) which will allow young Argentines up to 35 years old to visit Spain for tourism purposes for a year, during which they will be allowed to study and work.

The following agreements were also signed:

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Modernization of the Argentine Republic and the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda of the Kingdom of Spain.
  • Declaration of Intent between the Secretariat for Water Infrastructure and Policy of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing of the Argentine Republic and the Secretariat of State for Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment of the Kingdom of Spain on cooperation in the field of comprehensive water resources management.
  • Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Argentine Republic and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment of the Kingdom of Spain.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Transport of the Argentine Republic and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of the Kingdom of Spain in the field of infrastructure and transport

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