Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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ECONOMY | 24-04-2019 01:55

Evo Morales hails 'progress' in natural gas deal with Argentina

Amid dwindling income from its two biggest trading partners Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia is seeking to use an onshore liquefaction terminal in Argentina to export LNG to the rest of the world.

Buenos Aires and La Paz are closer to securing a renegotiated deal for natural gas imports to Argentina, Bolivian president Evo Morales confirmed Monday.

President Morales arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday, where one of his first activities was a visit to Air Base of El Palomar, where the Pampa III is manufactured.

Argentina wants more natural gas from Bolivia than the minimum quantity stipulated in the existing trade deal. In exchange, Buenos Aires has offered Bolivia a gift: a Pampa III jet fighter for the country's Armed Forces.

"We have begun to acquire Argentine technology", Morales said Monday afternoon, speaking in the White Hall at Government House, alongside President Mauricio Macri.

Bolivia will send a team of technicians and pilots to Argentina "to begin to negotiate the acquisition of the Pampa" fight jets, he confirmed.

"As Latin American brothers, we have the obligation to seek the transfer of technology", he added, insisting that as presidents he and Macri have the "obligation to work together to benefit" their respective countries.

On the topic of Bolivian gas exports to Argentina, Morales said "negotiations are progressing well".

Amid dwindling income from sales to its two biggest trading partners Brazil and Argentina, Bolivia is seeking to use an onshore liquefaction terminal in Argentina to export LNG to the rest of the world.

Bolivia's state-owned energy company YPFB “will participate in investments”, Morales confirmed.

The warming of relations between the two heads of state is largely out of convenience as opposed to ideological affiliation.

Despite the delicate nature of the gas deal, which will secure huge income for Bolivia and the ongoing supply of gas to Argentina, Morales on Sunday travelled immediately to La Matanza in Greater Buenos Aires where he addressed a crowd of residents alongside Peronist Mayor Verónica Magario.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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