Currently, there is less and less doubt that the axis of international trade is moving to the Pacific area, largely due to the demand of the Chinese economy, although not exclusively. In recent months the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) began to gain ground in the firmament of Argentine foreign trade.
According to official data, in the first two months of the year, trade with countries of the Southeast Asian region (Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) showed a surplus of U.S. $ 512 million. exports that grew 23.6% compared to the same period of the previous year (US $ 192 million) and imports that registered an increase of 37.5% (US $ 135 million).
At the end of the first two months, trade with ASEAN represented 11.1% of total exports, while imports were 4.5% of total imports. But this performance does not seem to be a temporary thing. Already in 2017, the exchange with the Asian block resulted in a surplus of USD 2244 million. "It was the second positive balance in magnitude among those obtained with the different countries and economic blocs, after the Maghreb and Egypt" highlights the report made by INDEC. It is not a small thing, especially considering that in 2017 the Argentine trade balance ended with a deficit of USD 8471 million.
During the 5th Symposium "From the South to the World in 2030. Sustainable Relations and bio business" that was developed last week in the National Congress, analysts warned about the growth potential of the region for our exports, especially primary and agroindustry products. The event was organized by the Chair of Agribusiness and the Department of Bio economy, Prospects and Public Policies of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and the Chamber of Deputies.
Roberto Caffaro Kramer, Global President of the Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, recalled that "ASEAN is very dynamic and has agreements with China, Korea, Japan, Australia, India and New Zealand. Considering this the region represents 3525 million of inhabitants, almost half of the world's population” and clarified that “in 2030 there will be 66% of the middle class and 55% of world consumption”.
Although the region as a whole has growth potential, four countries stand out above the rest. In the first two months of the year, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand accounted for 91.6% of exports to that region, while Vietnam is already the fifth commercial partner of Argentina and Indonesia, the seventh.
The main products exported to the ASEAN countries include soy and corn flour and pallets, crude soybean oil, shrimp, prawns and soybeans. In this context, the first export of vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease to Vietnam was made in mid-March (500,000 doses).
Date: 16 April 2018