President Alberto Fernández departed on his last international trip to China this Thursday aiming to close a new currency swap with the Asian giant to boost the Central Bank’s dwindling reserves.
Argentina’s Peronist leader also intends to reaffirm his intention of joining the BRICS group – made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – as the bloc looks to expand.
The president departed Thursday morning on what will be his last important trip before leaving his term in office on December 10. His schedule includes bilateral meetings with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and with former Brazil president Dilma Rousseff, now chief of the BRICS Development Bank.
Fernández will arrive in Shanghai on Friday and then travel to Beijing to stay until October 18. He is expected to return to Argentina only 48 hours before the presidential election four days later.
There are high expectations for Fernández's meeting with Rousseff; she now leads the BRICS Development Bank and can open a line of credit for Argentina. With Argentina’s entry to the bloc approved, the nation can access a priority soft line of credit from the institution.
In Shanghai, the largest financial centre of the Asian giant, the president will hold a conference with representatives from mining companies interested in investing in Argentina, mostly in lithium exploitation development.
Later, in Beijing, Fernández will participate in the Belt and Road Initiative forum for International Cooperation. He was invited by his Chinese counterpart and the event will have heads of state and authorities from more than 110 countries.
Based on this, there is a proposed meeting with Xi Jinping to review the bilateral agenda with Argentina's second trading partner and the second destination for these exports.
In addition, there is an expected possibility of expanding the swap line and trade from Argentina to Beijing after the recent currency crisis that has shaken the Latin American nation in recent days.