Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ECONOMY | 12-04-2024 14:52

President Javier Milei meets Elon Musk at Tesla factory in Austin

Argentina’s President flies from Miami to Texas for a meeting with SpaceX boss Elon Musk at his Telsa factory in Austin; X owner gives Javier Milei tour of building as photos of encounter go viral online.

President Javier Milei had his long-awaited meeting with billionaire businessman Elon Musk on Friday in Austin, Texas, with the two immediately creating waves on social media.

The first images of their encounter in the United States quickly went viral, not least on the X (formerly Twitter) social network owned by Musk. 

Photos published online showed the duo – who have expressed mutual admiration for each other online and share an ideological affinity – sitting down for talks, posing for a selfie and touring the Tesla factory. 

“To an exciting & inspiring future!,” wrote Musk in a post he made on X showing him and Milei outside the factory.

Argentina’s President shared his own post, showing an image of both with the caption: ‘Selfie time!’

In many of the images, the Tesla and SpaceX boss imitates the head of state’s preferred pose for snapshots – both hands giving a thumbs up sign, in a style often also utilised by former US president Donald Trump.

A statement issued afterwards by the President’s Office said "Javier Milei and Elon Musk agreed on the need to free markets and defend the ideas of freedom.”

Talks focused on "the importance of removing bureaucratic hurdles that keep investors away," said a message posted by Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni.

"Both agreed on the importance of technological development for the progress of humanity and on the need to establish clear and stable rules of the game in order to bring in companies that promote this development," it continued.

Musk, one of the richest men on the planet, "committed himself to the ideas of freedom and pro-market governments that fight in this direction."

The two closed talks with “a commitment to organise an event in Argentina "to promote the ideas of freedom,” it concluded.

The President also offered support and “collaboration” to Musk in his ongoing judicial conflict with the courts in Brazil.


Javier Milei, Elon Musk


Milei’s trip to Texas came after a two-day stop in Miami on what is his second visit to the United States since taking office.

The TN news channel reported that the tech billionaire had laid on a private jet for Milei to fly him to Austin. 

The head of state was Invited to tour Tesla’s ‘Giga Texas’ factory in Austin by the business mogul. More than 20,000 people are employed at the site manufacturing the pioneering firm’s new electric vehicle.

Musk has previously shown interest in Argentina’s lithium deposits – which are key to electric batteries – and initial reports of his encounter with Milei said it was a key theme for the talks. Other outlets suggested that Artificial Intelligence was also discussed.

After their meeting, he went on a tour of the impressive factory.

The relationship between the US tycoon and the President pre-dates last year’s election campaign, when Musk began commenting on videos showing Milei on X.

Argentina’s President is known to be keen on securing investment from Musk, though he is also said to be keen to form a closer personal relationship with the entrepreneur.

The two share similar opinions on recent geopolitical issues, not least their firm support for Israel in the wake of the October 7 attacks by Hamas. Both have travelled to the region in recent months to support the Israeli people and government.



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