Region:
Argentina
Category:
Politics
Article type:
Approaches

First Impressions

Region:
Argentina
Category:
Politics
Article type:
Approaches
Author/s:
By Noah B. Mamet
Publication date:
Print article

Before coming to Argentina, talked with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on the opportunities to strengthen our bilateral relationship, says Noah B. Mamet

It is a great honor for me to represent President Barack Obama and the American people, as US Ambassador in Argentina. In just six weeks I've been here, I've been impressed by the people I had a chance to meet. Since political leaders and business leaders to students salute before travel exchange programs in the United States, all I see an immense talent, enthusiasm and determination. Each of these meetings has caused me great optimism about the future, both Argentina and our bilateral relationship.

Also, I must admit I was amazed by the culture and diversity found in this country. I enjoy every day the privilege of living in a vibrant city like Buenos Aires, while I already had the opportunity to tour colleges that stand out for their dynamism and energy and visiting high-tech laboratories that are up to the most advanced world. I felt the thrill of first seeing the Andes, during a visit to the always beautiful San Carlos de Bariloche. And, as a football fan lifetime, I was particularly excited when I attended my first Superderby and shared the fervor of the stands.

The peoples of the United States and Argentina have much in common: most of our ancestors came from distant lands, seeking freedom and a new life. Our countries fought for their independence and to address various political and economic throughout their histories challenges. Both are democracies, committed to creating opportunities and building a better quality of life for each of its inhabitants.

Before coming to Argentina, I spoke with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on the opportunities to strengthen our bilateral relationship. They urged me to continue expanding our cooperation and collaboration in key areas where there is a strong overlap between the interests of our two countries. As I interpret it, it means increase connectivity between US and Argentina, not only through government programs and bilateral trade but also through contacts at the individual level.

I hope expand cooperation in key fields such as science and technology, energy, trade, education and culture. In fact, without going any further, just pay attention to what happened in the past two weeks, in which the United States and Argentina have signed three agreements valued.

The first such agreement was initialed on 19 February between NASA chief Charles Bolden, Julio De Vido, on behalf of the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE). The agreement opens the door for Argentine and US scientists cooperate on research using satellite data to develop a better understanding of solar physics and space weather, and how these phenomena can affect life on Earth. This agreement exemplifies the kind of collaboration that must be modeled to deepen ties between our two countries.

A week later, I had a meeting with the head of AFIP, Ricardo Echegaray, to establish a transparency unit of bilateral trade. And the next day, I met with the minister Axel Kicillof to sign the plan to refinance the debt with the Paris Club, paving the way for closer economic relationship. Close this agreement marks a crucial step towards a more positive economic agenda between our countries.

The scientific collaborations and economic opportunities are clearly important, but if you ask me, I always say that the most vital area for our countries in the long term is education. Our shared values and common experiences are the foundation of a solid relationship, and I think in the long run educational exchanges are the best way to increase connectivity. Each year, about 4,500 American students come to attend the Argentina and over 2500 Argentines travel to improve in academic institutions in the United States. It is my desire to radically increase those numbers, and I take that as a personal goal to ensure that both our governments and the private sector to offer more scholarships and exchange opportunities for students from both countries.

The outlook for our relationship is certainly positive. I see significant to build on established partnerships and create new ones that meet common interests, challenges and opportunities for both countries opportunities. I envision a future in which our two countries work together to address common challenges and create new opportunities to encourage progress in education, science, technology, energy and the arts. Progress, ultimately, that can build a better future together.

traslation: Belén Zapata