India; Argentina to ink Key Defence Pact During President Macri’s Visit
| Ashok Dixit, Editor - Foreign Affairs, IOP - 17 Feb 2019

India; Argentina to ink Key Defence Pact During President Macri’s Visit

An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Daniel Chuburu, Argentina’s Ambassador to India by Ashok Dixit, Editor-Foreign Affairs; Indian Observer Post, on the occasion of Argentina's President Mauricio Macri’s three-day India visit. - Onkareshwar Pandey, Editor in Chief, IOP


By Ashok Dixit (Editor-Foreign Affairs; IOP)

New Delhi; February 17; 2019: India and Argentina will be signing several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU); including very significant ones on enhancing strategic and defence bilateral cooperation between both countries on Monday.

Revealing this in an exclusive interview to the Indian Observer Post (IOP) on the eve of Argentina President Mauricio Macri’s state visit to India; that country’s Ambassador to India; Daniel Chuburu; said; “Yes; we want a change in terms of the quality of the relationship that we have with India and; in this regard; we are signing a lot of MoUs in different areas; and we are also committed to implementing MoUs that have been signed in the past.”

A degree holder in Economics and Business, Chuburu was posted as an Ambassador to the United Mexican States, concurrent with Belize. Chuburu, who has also worked as a professor of International Relations was a member of his country’s delegations to many institutions: Financial Fund for the Development of the River Plate Basin (FONPLATA); Commission on transnational corporations, and others.

“One of the important MoUs that we will be signing now is in the area of defence research. There are a lot of possibilities and we are hopeful that these MoUs will give the required step-up in the (bilateral) relationship;” Chuburu added.

Top defence manufacturers from Argentina are keen to work with their Indian counterparts. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mauricio Macri are expected to use this state visit of the latter to re-emphasize and encourage business enterprises to work out co-development and co-production arrangements for defence equipment in India; including the transfer of know-how and technologies.

President Macri who was visiting Agra on Sunday; landed in New Delhi later in the day to take part in one-to-one and delegation-level bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi on Monday. He will thereafter visit Mumbai on Tuesday before emplaning for Buenos Aires.

Argentina has a well-developed indigenous defence industrial base and there are opportunities for both sides to work on supplies of trainer aircraft; transport aircraft; submarines; and small arms. In fact; it is being reported that the Indian Air Force is keen to acquire an intermediate jet trainer similar to Argentina’s IA-63 Pampa-II.

Top Argentine defence companies like Fabrica Argentina de Aviones; Astillero Ro Santiago; CITEDEF; INVAP SE; Tandanor and Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares are keen to have business partnerships in a large defence production market like India.

Experts are of the view that there is a lot of scope for defence cooperation; especially in the area of joint production; joint development; and maintenance support and overhaul capabilities.

However; they say that cooperation can be mutually beneficial if India agrees to think beyond transactional arrangements; adding that both countries need to be innovative in their thinking going forward.

Ambassador Chuburu further said there are three key areas of cooperation that Argentina is looking at with regard to India. These were (1) Agriculture and Agricultural Technologies; (2) Energy and (3) Hi-Technologies.

He said Argentina is very keen to help India achieve greater food security and productivity.

“In the field of energy; we also have some resources that can help India achieve energy security. We also have the potential for cooperation in renewable energy and allied technologies. We have to add a third leg and that leg is in the area of hi-technologies;” he said.

“We are also working on an agreement for the pacific use of nuclear energy and we are soon to have a joint commission meeting on this. Same goes as regards with the Pacific uses of outer space and some other areas that are very interesting like IT; Science and Technology; Pharma; Tourism and some others;” he added.

“We think we need to increase the volume and the quality of trade because in our case we have a very good level of expertise which we can offer to India… We need to talk about both good quantity and good quality. This visit by President Macri to India is a very good opportunity to enhance trade and investment between the two countries;” the Argentine envoy said.

Asked about Argentina’s position on terrorism; “Ambassador Chuburu told IOP; “I guess that issue would also be part of the discussions. As you know; we are also a country that has suffered from terrorism. We have a clear position on the issue of terrorism and support all initiatives to counter it.”

On the issue of the trade balance not being in favour of India; Ambassador Chuburu said that the existing trade deficit must not be limited in its understanding in a traditional sense and must be understood more from product or products engagement.

“We foresee the relationship as a win-win situation. Both of us have to go forward from what we have currently. Argentina and India have had formal diplomatic relations for the last 70 years. We have a lot of things in common; share certain values; we have shared a lot of work; common work in forums like the G-77; the Non-Aligned Movement. Nowadays we share work in the G-20. We have very good political relations; but that does not reflect appropriately in fields like commerce; investment etc.;” he said. 

Photo Courtesy - / The Statesman

“So we are hopeful about this visit of President Macri being a turning point in the relationship;” he concluded.(Ashok Dixit is a New Delhi-based media consultant with 25 years of experience. He can be reached at

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