Fira de Barcelona in Argentina

24-05-01
Analía Wlazlo heads the delegation of Fira de Barcelona in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and a beautiful city whose European roots are still very much alive.

Argentina has the second-largest economy in South America after Brazil. It has an outstanding livestock sector – meat from Argentina is justly famous and exported all over the world – but also agriculture and industry, and it has significant reserves of oil, gas and valuable ores, including gold, zinc and copper.

A complicated relationship

24-05-02The exploitation of its oilfields, and specifically the expropriation of Repsol, has been the cause of conflict between the companies in the sector and the governments of Argentina and Spain. In the words of Analía Wlazlo, in recent years “trade relations between Argentina and Spain have not, unfortunately, been as smooth as they could be, but Argentina holds its links with its roots in great esteem, and our shared language is a factor in our favour”.

Spain is Argentina’s eighth largest supplier, and its sixth largest client. According to the most recent data, from 2010, Argentina’s exports to Spain were worth 1,780 million euros, which was twice the value of sales from Spain to Argentina.

“Argentina needs both technology and raw materials for industrial processes that Spain possesses”, says Analía, who also believes that “those who want to do business must think about long-term investment. It is more complex than it was a few years ago, but not impossible”.

The good image of Fira

With regard to the reputation of Fira de Barcelona in Argentina, the delegate in Buenos Aires confirms that “The perception of Fira is excellent, where it is seen as organised, innovative and enterprising”.

According to Analía Wlazlo, exhibitors and visitors from Argentina “are most familiar with Construmat, because it has been promoted in Argentina and Uruguay for over 15 years, but there are a number of events that stand out and have raised a lot of interest. Fairs such as Piscina, Alimentaria, Hostelco and Náutico, among others. Fairs that have been aimed at an international audience have made an impact in this country and in Uruguay.

Barcelona

Analía Wlazlo is clear about the image of Barcelona: “We feel right at home. We always want to come back to Barcelona, and there is always something new going on to surprise us”.

It may have something to do with the large Argentine community settled in Barcelona, which has earned the city, together with Paris and Buenos Aires, the reputation of a world capital of tango, or that many of the greatest Argentine footballers have achieved glory playing for FC Barcelona. It all adds up.

A great country

24-05-03Argentina is a federal republic with a surface area of 2,780,000 square kilometres and a population of 42 million. This population is concentrated in and around the capital, Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area (where over 13 million live), and the cities of Rosario, Córdoba and Mendoza.

The per capital income is 11,590 dollars per year, and it has a very high Human Development Index (HDI), the second in Latin America after Chile.

Argentina forms part of the G-20 group which includes the most important global economies and those of Mercosur. Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela are also members, and represent 270 million inhabitants and a GDP of 3.3 billion dollars, which is more than 82% of the total for all South America. It is the world’s largest producer of food. It is the fourth most visited country on the American continent, and a powerful tourist attraction.

R. P.