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Argentina

Last updated in March 2017

Politics

Official relations between Germany and Argentina have existed since 1857. Bilateral relations are broadly based in economic and cultural terms and are characterised by similar positions on important multilateral issues. Cooperation in academia, science and research is a priority for both sides.

On multilateral issues, there is broad consensus on the importance of multilateralism and international law, on nuclear non-proliferation and in particular on human rights. Along with Brazil and Mexico, Argentina is one of the three countries representing Latin America in the G20 group of major industrialised countries and emerging economies. In 2018, Argentina will take over the G20 Presidency from Germany.

Then Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travelled to Argentina on 2 and 3 June 2016, signing various agreements including one on a working-holiday programme that will enable youths and young adults from both countries to spend a year living and working in the partner country. Argentine President Mauricio Macri paid a visit to Berlin from 4 to 6 July 2016, meeting with Federal President Joachim Gauck, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, then Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier and then Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Gabriel. The signing of nine declarations on strengthening German-Argentine cooperation, not least in the economic and scientific sectors, underscores the interest of both sides in further intensifying relations. In mid-September 2016, German Vice-Chancellor and then Federal Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel attended the international Argentina Investment and Business Forum organised by the Argentine Government in Buenos Aires. He also held political talks with top Argentine officials, including President Mauricio Macri, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay and Production Minister Francisco Cabrera.


Economy

Overall, Argentina is Germany’s third most important trading partner in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. In 2015, over five percent of Argentina’s total imports came from Germany, which remains the country’s fourth most important supplier, after Brazil, China and the United States. In 2014, Germany fell to 12th place among buyers of Argentine exports, after previously ranking ninth for a number of years. Bilateral trade grew again in 2015, by 3.3 percent, after slumping at times by double-digit figures in the two previous years. This growth was due solely to the 9 percent increase in German exports, while German imports from Argentina declined by 5.1 percent. In 2015, Germany recorded a surplus of 1.135 billion euros in its trade with Argentina.

Germany’s principal imports from Argentina are raw materials (accounting for 24.3 percent of imports) and food (38.8 percent). Germany is the biggest buyer of Argentine beef in the EU. In 2015, German imports of vehicles and vehicle parts from Argentina accounted for 14.4 percent of total German imports from the country.

Traditionally, the main German exports to Argentina have been industrial products.
In 2014 and 2015, however, the share of vehicles and vehicle parts in Germany’s total exports to Argentina fell from 30-35 percent for the period 2010-2013 to 14 percent as a result of new taxes, especially in the premium segment, and stronger general restrictions on imports of vehicles. In 2015, Germany’s principal exports to Argentina were machinery (28.5 percent) and chemical products (24.3 percent).

The European Union plays a major role in foreign direct investment in Argentina. The principal individual investors are the United States and Brazil. Germany ranks third among EU investors there, after Spain and the Netherlands. The principal investments by German companies are concentrated in the automotive, energy and service (finance and insurance) sectors. The Argentine-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CADICAA) has more than 500 members, including some 150 German companies. There are a total of around 200 companies with German capital operating in Argentina, directly providing over 22,000 jobs.


Culture and education

The German Schools Abroad in Argentina are among the best-regarded private schools in the country and are also thought highly of by parents with no connection to Germany. As part of its Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH), Germany supports a total of 30 schools in Argentina, at which the teaching of German as a foreign language enjoys particular prominence. Of these, four are German Schools Abroad in Greater Buenos Aires (one with a German university entrance – Abitur – stream, three offering the optional mixed-language school-leaving qualification International Baccalaureate and one with an integrated vocational training centre and leading to the optional German university of applied sciences entrance qualification). In addition, 16 schools across Argentina offer the German Language Certificate (DSD) and 11 other schools are overseen by the Goethe-Institut.

German culture is highly regarded and has a presence in Argentina thanks in part to the Goethe-Institut and its network (branches in Buenos Aires and Córdoba, two Goethe-Zentren – in Mendoza and San Juan – and nine other cultural societies that receive support). German films enjoy a high profile in Argentina, being regularly submitted to the country’s two most important film festivals and drawing a broad and positive response, as well as being screened at the annual week-long Festival of German Films in Buenos Aires, which is held in September. Leading German musicians and orchestras regularly visit the country, and the Argentines’ affection for the German rock band Tote Hosen is legendary.


Science and academia

Stepping up cooperation in university teaching and research is a goal being pursued by both Germany and Argentina in their bilateral relations. Germany enjoys an excellent reputation in Argentina as a partner here. Bilateral cooperation in science and technology has a long tradition dating back many years (framework agreement of 31 March 1969).

In addition to the Max Planck Society, numerous major research institutions belonging to the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres are active in Argentina. In recent years, the German Research Foundation has greatly expanded its cooperation with Argentina. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, which in the past focused its cooperation with Latin America on Brazil and Chile, is now seeking to extend its activities to Argentina and has begun cooperating with the city and province of Buenos Aires as part of its City of the Future initiative. During President Mauricio Macri’s visit to Germany in July 2016, a declaration of intent was signed with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to promote the joint development of innovative technologies and strengthen cooperation between the two countries’ research and industrial sectors.


Higher education

An important pillar of bilateral cooperation is the German-Argentine Centre for Higher Education (DAHZ), which was set up in 2012 by the German and Argentine Governments and the Argentine-German Scientific Association of German Business in Argentina. The DAHZ currently supports 18 binational study programmes (PhD and Master’s programmes) in biomedicine, logistics, economics and engineering. In late 2013, the DAHZ also launched the I-DEAR (Ingenieros Deutschland Argentina) exchange programme in engineering.

In 2015, some 400 German and 680 Argentine students received German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funding. Co-funded scholarship programmes with Argentina’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation are being expanded, especially in engineering.

The DAAD is also active in other areas. The long-term lectureship at the University of Buenos Aires’ (UBA) School of Law has been filled again since August 2015. The DAAD also has a lectureship at UBA’s Faculty of Letters and Philosophy (Walter Benjamin Free Chair). The Walter Gropius Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies has been established at the private Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. Other DAAD lectors are working to improve language teacher and translator training in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Tucumán.

Disclaimer: 

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.

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