The Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, visited Argentina for the first time between June 25 and 27, 2017. It was the first official visit of an Australian Foreign Minister since 2001. Here below, we convey the Joint Statement issued during the visit:
"1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, made her first official visit to the Argentine Republic on 25 to 27 June 2017. Minister Bishop held a meeting and working lunch with the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and an audience with Madam Vice President.
2. Both Ministers emphasised the excellent level of the bilateral relationship and agreed to continue growing the political and economic exchanges and cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as agriculture, mining, education, economic reform, peaceful use of nuclear energy and aerospace.
3. The Ministers welcomed the significant increase in bilateral trade in the first four-month period of 2017 (45%) and agreed to carry out specific actions to strengthen this trend, as well as generate new investment in sectors of strategic importance to both countries. Additionally, the Ministers agreed to explore cooperation possibilities between MERCOSUR and CER (Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement).
4. 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Lucas Heights Open-Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) nuclear research reactor, designed and constructed by the Argentine company INVAP. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction at the reliability of the reactor, which enables us to continue progressing cooperation in the nuclear energy field.
5. The Ministers welcomed the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the establishment of a bilateral consultation mechanism between the Foreign Ministries and agreed to exchange views and experiences on implementing gender equity and diversity.
They also welcomed the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Education, Research and Technical and Professional Training between the Argentine Ministry of Education and Sports and the Australian Department of Education and Training which will provide a framework for enhancing and promoting cooperation in these fields.
6. In addition, they signalled the importance of strengthening personal bonds and encouraging the development of relationships across all fields, including culture, sports and other areas of mutual interest.
For its part, the Australian government reported its commitment to establish a second representative responsible for cooperation in education, training and research in Latin America in late 2017.
Likewise, they agreed to a modification to the MoU on Work and Holiday visas, which will see the annual reciprocal quota increased to 1500. This is further evidence of the success of the Work and Holiday program that allows young Argentines and Australians to enjoy a twelve month stay in each other’s country, including undertaking short study opportunities together with work activities as part of their stay.
7. Minister Bishop welcomed the decision by Argentina to eliminate the requirement to pay a reciprocity tax for Australian passport holders.
8. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the existing relationship and cooperation in the diverse areas of the multilateral agenda such as the United Nations reform, human rights, Antarctica and environmental matters.
9. Minister Faurie reaffirmed the Argentine government’s decision to reach a new status in the OECD. In this regard, Minister Bishop expressed firm support for Argentina’s full membership aspirations. In turn, the Ministers committed to working closer together to achieve a successful 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC11) in Buenos Aires. They highlighted both countries' shared interests in advancing negotiations in agricultural matters and in fisheries subsidies, among others, and they committed to continue working together in a coordinated manner.
10. In addition, they outlined the mutual opportunities generated by the G20 Summit hosted by Argentina in 2018. In this sense, Minister Bishop reaffirmed the commitment by Australia in continuing to support Argentina and its organizing efforts. Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie thanked Australia for its collaboration in the G20 Presidency in 2018, providing Argentina with the opportunity to benefit from Australia’s experience.”
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