President Mauricio Macri will tomorrow meet with Russian business leaders in Moscow for a working breakfast that will kick off his first official overseas trip for 2018.
Macri arrived to Moscow on Sunday evening local time with his wife Juliana Awada. The couple were welcomed at Moscow airport by Russian officials. Macri will meet President Vladimir Putin late Monday at the Kremlin.
Macri is keen to revive trade between the two nations. In 2012, Russia-Argentine trade was valued at US$ 1.87 billion. In 2017, the figure dropped to US$806 million (excluding December, the data for which are not yet available).
Accompanying Macri on his trip to Russia, Switzerland and France are Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren and Agroindustry Minister Luis Miguel Etchevehere. In Moscow, the President will be shadowed by Argentine Ambassador to Russia Ricardo Lagorio.
The list of business leaders scheduled to meet the president and his team tomorrow morning in Moscow reflects the emphasis Argentina is putting on energy and agriculture, as well as on technology and infrastructure.
The 18 firms are: Biocad (biotech), Gazprom (energy), Gazprombank (banking), Phosagro (agrochemicals), Rosatom (nuclear energy), Sinatra (investment), Uralkali (fertiliser), Vnesheconombank (a development bank), Lukoil (oil), Mail.Ru (internet), Russian Railways, Vtb Bank Grou, Yandex (internet), Russian Copper Co., Transmashholding (railway) and Softline (IT).
Macri is also scheduled to open a square in Moscow named “Argentine Republic” and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a WWII monument.
A meeting with Putin at the Kremlin among Argentine officials and their Russian counterparts is not expected to produce any major trade outcomes, Foreign Minister Faurie told La Nación. However, the meeting would act to reassure the relationship between the two countries with an aim at working toward trade deals further down the line, he said.
The two presidents will hold a press conference after their meeting.
Macri and his entourage will then travel to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
There, the president is scheduled to meet Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Queen Maxima of Holland, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Swiss President Alain Berset and World Economic Forum CEO Klaus Schwab.
As president of the G20 through 2018, Macri will address the Forum’s general assembly with a speech in which he is expected to outline further details of his plans for the group of 20 major economies.