In an interview with RIA Novosti before his visit to Moscow, Rafael Antonio Bielsa, Argentina's minister of foreign relations, international trade and worship, said that Argentina supported extending its trade and economic relations with Russia.
"I am convinced that our efforts should primarily be focused on restoring the volume of trade and economic relations between the Russian Federation and Argentina," Mr. Bielsa said.
He recalled that last year the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $350 million. An increase in mutual trade depends on the business community's initiative and desire, the minister said. In his opinion, businessmen "must generate new ideas and possibilities for expanding trade and economic cooperation.
"Proceeding from this prerequisite, I do not have even the slightest doubt that we will be able to extend our trade and economic relations both at a bilateral level and within the CIS and the Mercosur.
"Quite a number of large Argentine firms, which process the most modern scientific and technological processes, haven taken a great interest in the tremendous projects that Russia has announced - doubling the GDP in a few years - and are being open about their desire to help translate them into reality."
According to him, entrepreneurs from the two countries could also join their efforts in implementing joint programs in the power industry, construction and food production.
Another important objective is "to determine the spheres in our countries' economies that mutual investments could be channeled into," he said. "For this purpose, a large group of leading entrepreneurs from Argentina will come to Moscow and hold a number of meetings with Russian businessmen."
Mr. Bielsa supported the quickest entry of Russia into the World Trade Organization.
"We are confident that this is necessary to strengthen multilateral trade," he said, "and we do not doubtthat we will achieve this goal. Russia, with its possibilities and potential, will certainly become a member of the WTO."
Mr. Bielsa said that "an open negotiating process directed at formalizing our consent of the Russian Federation's entry into the WTO" is currently going on between Argentina and Russia.
He also said that he supported strengthening of a multi-polar world. "It is perfectly clear that the international situation demands that countries draw together to resolve the global problems of today," he said. "Considering the fact that the Russian Federation occupies an immense territory and is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it is, beyond doubt, a main player in the international arena."
The minister will visit Moscow June 23-25.
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