Venezuela and Argentina Deepen Industrial Integration

Delegations from Venezuela and Argentina met last week to discuss new cooperative projects between the countries. A total of 56 projects of industrial development were discussed.

Mérida, July 31, 2007 (— Delegations from Venezuela and Argentina met last week to discuss new cooperative projects between the countries. With the intention of creating authentic industrial development and technology transfer, representatives from the Argentinean National Institute of Technology (INTA) met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last week to converse about the construction of new factories in Venezuela for the production of a variety of industrial goods.

A total of 56 projects of industrial development were discussed during the meeting according to the president of INTA, Enrique Martinez. These industrial projects seek to increase the economic relations between the two nations and allow for the development of industry in Venezuela with cooperation from Argentina. Among the many projects are 12 companies that will be dedicated to the production of home furniture and appliances for the Venezuelan market.

"We are going to work with factories that produce capital goods, food, automotive components, among others," said Martinez upon leaving the meeting. Martinez said the main objective of the cooperative projects it to build "authentic technology transfer" and to go further than simple commercial agreements.

"We are going to begin a new method of cooperation. That is the idea, authentic cooperation in industrial technology transfer, more than commercial agreements," he said.

"Initially we have planned the construction of 56 factories that will meet the basic needs of the Venezuelan market. Twelve of these will produce items for the home, but we are also planning productive factories for food, auto parts, and auto bodies," explained Martinez.

The Argentinean Secretary of Commerce and Economic Relations, Alfredo Chiaradia, commented that during the meeting the delegations also discussed important bilateral issues such as plans for productive integration, industrial and commercial cooperation.

"The agreements being made will allow for the installation of different productive factories in Venezuela that will be run together with Argentinean cooperation," said Chiaradia.

The governments of Argentina and Venezuela have signed previous cooperative agreements for industrial development on recent occasions as the two countries have looked to increase economic integration. The meeting on Tuesday had the intention of following up on the progress of projects being studied since last April and, for that reason, a bi-national committee was created to map the progress of the projects and set a time frame for their completion.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro explained that the meeting was the conclusion of two days of discussing industrial and technological development between Argentina and Venezuela. Maduro noted that great advances had been made with respect to the issues of shared technological development and the new model of South American integration.

"We have exchanged thoughts on the new models of integration in South America," he said.

Enrique Martinez finished by emphasizing that cooperation among the southern countries is the true path to national development. He recalled that before both Venezuela and Argentina were in the hands of what he called "savage neoliberalism whose result is increased misery."

"Today our countries have very clear leadership: President Kirchner and President Chavez, and a revitalized population with a very clear development project and vision that our future is in South America," he said.