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Argentina FM visits Bangladesh for mission reopening

Foreign Minister of Argentina, Santiago Cafiero, will visit Bangladesh to preside over the reopening of the Argentinian embassy today – Photo: MercoPress

Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero will begin a two-day visit to Bangladesh today.

Cafiero will preside over the reopening of Argentina’s Bangladeshi embassy and meet with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, to promote trade. Although diplomatic relations were established in 1972, the embassy was closed in 1978 by Argentina’s then-military dictatorship as a cost-cutting exercise.

The embassy reopening marks a high point in the 50-year bilateral relationship and is likely to strengthen economic and cultural ties—famously manifested in the enthusiastic Bangladeshi support base for Argentina’s soccer team. Argentina’s 2022 FIFA World Cup win was met with raucous celebrations in Bangladesh and reportedly cemented Buenos Aires’ long-held intentions to reopen the embassy.

Argentina—its economy struggling with massive inflation—is clearly banking on Bangladesh’s loyalty to Argentina’s squad to translate into growing customer loyalty for Argentina’s $875 million mineral and agricultural exports to Bangladesh. For Dhaka—with a high-growth but increasingly indebted economy—yielding more earnings from underperforming export markets like Argentina is enticing given the significant trade imbalance with Buenos Aires. Argentina only imported $17.8 million of Bangladeshi goods in 2020—mainly textiles. Thus, expect Cafiero and Momen to ink several agreements providing easier access into each other’s markets.

Source: foreign brief