President Alberto Fernández met with Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brasília on Tuesday, with talks focusing on financing for imports and exports.
Argentina’s head of state arrived in the Brazilian capital on Tuesday at around 3.30pm, ahead of talks at the Alvorada Palace that involved Economy Minister Sergio Massa and his counterpart, Fernando Haddad.
"It is a joy to receive my friend Alberto Fernández today at the Palacio de la Alvorada. Brazil and Argentina are brothers and we will have increasingly prosperous relations with one of the largest commercial partners of our country and our industry. Together we are stronger," Lula wrote in a post on Twitter.
Talks were centred on finding an agreement over a credit line to boost Brazilian exports to Argentina. The discussions come amid a severe foreign currency crisis in Argentina, with inflation running at more than 100 percent and a shortage of international reserves.
Government sources quoted by the Noticias Argentinas news agency said that Fernández’s team intended to work on “financial engineering” to boost trade, looking for a solution that would allow “exports to be made in a common currency" instead of dollars, with the aim of protecting Central Bank's reserves.
Haddad told reporters earlier on Tuesday that some 200 Brazilian companies "are not only not exporting, but are not receiving" the corresponding payments for agreed sales, citing difficulties in Argentina.
Facing an election year, Argentina is suffering a deep economic crisis, with annual inflation at more than 100 percent and a pressing shortage of reserves at the Central Bank.
This year in particular, foreign currency inflows from Argentina's agricultural exports will be affected by the impact of one of the worst droughts in 100 years.
The meeting between Lula and Fernández follows a 45-minute video-conference call between the two heads of state last Thursday.
In a communication issued after the meeting, the leaders "highlighted the importance of deepening fraternal ties and bilateral trade" among other issues.