This year marks the 202nd anniversary of Argentina’s independence.
“This is a day to meditate upon what you have built during these 200 years”, said Gonzalo Urriolabeitia.
As to Armenia-Argentina relationships the ambassador noted that bilateral relations between the two countries date back to the early 20th century when Armenians started migrating to Argentina. “The Armenian community in Argentina has a tangible role. All those Armenians that settled and developed socially and economically became the basis for establishing close ties between Armenia and Argentina”, says the ambassador.
The velvet revolution that took place in Armenia 2 months ago was the expression of public will according to Gonzalo Urriolabeitia, and it took place as a result of peaceful demonstrations.
He is hopeful that following the velvet revolution the Armenian community in Argentina will launch large-scale investments.
“One important field for investments for Argentinian Armenians is that of green houses in Tavush region. 120 green houses have been set up in Tavush in the recent years”, says Gonzalo Urriolabeitia. According to the ambassador the almost zero since 1998 hit 8 mln USD.
“In the economic field we face a number challenges when it comes to bilateral trade with Armenia and Argentina being far from each other geographically. Armenia does not have access to the sea and Argentina is surrounded with seas. On the other hand the Armenian market is too small for Argentinian goods. They mainly focus on goods that are logistically easy to transfer and require less expenses. The Argentinian side works mainly for exporting agricultural as well as audio-video equipment”, says the ambassador.
He adds that in the Armenian market Argentina is interested particularly in Armenian wine and IT services.
The ambassador also touched upon Armenia-Argentina cultural ties and added that Argentinian film and tango festivals are organized in Armenia.
“We are trying to disperse the festivals not to focus on Yerevan. We are trying to engage Shirak and Tavush regions”.
To the question what places he would recommend tourists to visit in Armenia the ambassador answered: “Yerevan in the first place, I have been living here for 3 years. I am almost a fan of this city. Another impressive place is Khor Virap and the scenery, Noravank and the road leading there and Garni.”
To sum up the ambassador emphasized that there is a touristic flow from Argentina in summer months most of them being Argentinian Armenians.
“I also meet many Armenians leaving for Argentina. The civilizations and cultures are totally different, there is no visa regime. The problem is the high ticket price but they are trying to compensate this with cheap services”, added the ambassador.
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Lilit Arakelyan, Media Center project editor/coordinator.