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Map of Argentina

Map of Argentina.
flag of the Republic of Argentina.

Republic of Argentina

Relationship with New Zealand

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina [1]

New Zealand enjoys a friendly and cooperative relationship with Argentina. We share interests in global agricultural trade liberalisation, Antarctica and southern oceans, the global environment especially climate change, whales conservation, international human rights, peacekeeping, non-proliferation and other international issues. New Zealand exports fell sharply in 2002 and 2003 as a result of Argentina’s economic crisis but resumed growth in 2004, reaching NZ$21m in 2010.  Two-way trade is now valued at NZ$113m.  There has been significant New Zealand investment in Argentina’s dairy and fisheries sectors and, more recently, new ventures in pasture seed, high quality wine, tourism and veterinary products. A successful Working Holiday Scheme began operation in 2003 and there is strong demand for the 1000 visas available to young Argentineans.

Diplomatic relations between the countries are longstanding, although they were interrupted when New Zealand broke off relations in 1982 at the outbreak of the Falklands (Malvinas) war, closing the Argentine Embassy in Wellington. 

Diplomatic relations were restored at New Zealand's initiative in August 1984.  Argentina opened a Consulate-General in Auckland in 1987, which it upgraded to an Embassy in Wellington in 1995. New Zealand has had a resident Ambassador in Buenos Aires since February 1998.

Trade and economic links


Argentina is one of the world’s main agricultural and livestock producers, and exported agricultural commodities account for about two thirds of the country’s total export earnings.  Argentine beef and dairy livestock is largely grass-fed, under similar conditions to New Zealand.  Argentina has over 50 million cattle, 2.1 million of which are dairy breeds.  There are good opportunities for New Zealand agro-technological exports in the medium to long term, mainly in pasture-based beef and dairy farming. 

From a very small base in the mid 80s, New Zealand’s annual exports to Argentina grew to about NZ$30 million by the late 1990s.  Exports to Argentina subsequently fell sharply as a result of Argentina’s economic crisis, but resumed growth in 2004, reaching NZ$24m in the year to June 2010.  Imports from Argentina were valued at NZ$91m in 2010. 

There has been significant (estimated at over NZ$200m) New Zealand investment in Argentina, especially in the dairy, fisheries, wine and tourism sectors. Fonterra has a strategic alliance with large local dairy cooperative SanCor. Dairy Partners America (Fonterra and Nestlé) also have an Argentine presence in the commodities market, as well as a joint venture with SanCor for the production of value-added dairy products. In fisheries, Sealord has operations based in southern Argentina, where they fish for hoki and hake.

In 2006 visiting New Zealand began promoting NZTE’s “Food Value Chain” project, which aimed to promote commercial benefits to NewZealand from the sales of goods and services to South American countries and through commercial collaboration between New Zealand firms and South American partners.  The focus on developing the potential for collaboration around food production remains a priority and was a focus of the New Zealand Minister of Agriculture’s visit to Argentina in October 2009.  In Argentina, recent New Zealand investments and partnerships include PGG Wrightson’s purchase of Alfafares seed company in 2007, the purchase of champagne house Rossel Boher in 2007, and Bomac Laboratories has taken a minority stake in Rosenbusch Laboratories which specialises in veterinary products.  There are other investments in beef, soy, real estate, retail, and horse breeding on the part of private investors.

An SPS Memorandum of Understanding facilitating market access for agricultural trade of live animals and plants and animal and plant products was signed in 1999.

Argentina has shown renewed interest in the New Zealand market, with a visit by Industry Minister Debora Giorgi in August 2010, and plans for trade promotion during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Economic reform and business links have also been focuses of attention. Current NZTE Beachhead adviser Jorge Forteza undertook a successful visit to New Zealand in June 2008 as the Prime Minister’s Latin America Fellow from Argentina, with a programme centred on New Zealand’s economic transformation agenda, experience in public sector management and tertiary education offer. NewZealand business journalist Rod Oram visited Argentina in September 2008 with support from the LASF, as did Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Business New Zealand, in September 2010. The LASF also supported a visit by the Governor of Tierra del Fuego, Fabiana Rios, who visited New Zealand in April this year. A key focus of her visit included studying New Zealand’s fishery management system.  

Air Services

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New Zealand and Argentina signed an Air Services Agreement in 1985. Aerolineas Argentinas provides direct Auckland-Buenos Aires air services several times a week. Other providers servicing Argentina/NZ travel are LAN Chile and Qantas.


Pre-departure visas are not required by New Zealanders or Argentines visiting each other’s countries for up to three months (issued on arrival subject to usual conditions).  

A working holiday scheme was signed in November 2001, providing for working holiday exchanges of 300 people aged 18-30 in each direction each year. The scheme became operational in January 2003. Since December 2006, an increased quota of 1000 visas have been available per year with this quota being filled within a matter of days or most recently in hours.  Over 5000 Argentines have visited New Zealand under the scheme, and New Zealanders also have begun to visit Argentina under the scheme, albeit in lower numbers.


As the Argentinean economy has emerged from the 2001 national financial crisis, figures for visitors to New Zealand have increased.  Visitor figures remained buoyant through the 2008 global financial crisis with 5,654 (short-term) visitors travelling to New Zealand in 2010.

Education and exchange programmes

Small numbers of Argentine students pursue mainly post-graduate studies in NewZealand (202 in 2009). Four New Zealand universities have exchange agreements with Argentine counterparts (two of them with the Catholic University). 

Science and technology

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A Science and Technology Cooperation Arrangement was signed in October 1998 but has not actively been implemented by the two governments since then. Some linkages have been established at institutional level. Among Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) for example, AgResearch has established some cooperation with counterparts in Argentina, and more recently in December 2007, Scion and Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) agreed to collaborate on a study of the impacts of climate change on southern hemisphere beech (Nothofagus) forests. Scion’s collaboration builds on the long-standing relationship between New Zealand and Argentina through their common membership of the Montreal Process since 1995. The research is supported in New Zealand through the Foundation of Research Science and Technology (FRST) programmes in Forests and Climate Change and Forests and Environment

Also in the climate change context, Argentina’s national science agencies INTA, UNICEN and CNEA have been participants in the agricultural greenhouse gas emissions research network known as LEARN (Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network).  Argentina is also a very active member of the Global Research Alliance which aims to address the twin challenge of increasing global food production in line with population growth while mitigating the environmental impact.

A bilateral fisheries cooperation arrangement was signed in December 2004 resulted in science and technology collaboration as well as help from NewZealand in the development of their fisheries management systems. Argentine fisheries officials visited New Zealand in August 2007 under this bilateral framework while a Ministry of Fisheries official visited Argentina for discussions in July 2008.  Discussions between fisheries officials most recently took place in Argentina in April 2010.

In 1998 New Zealand and Argentina concluded an arrangement for technical cooperation in nature conservation and protected natural areas between the Department of Conservation and Argentina’s National Parks Administration.

New Zealand also contributes technical assistance to Argentina through a programme of development assistance (see below) and through MFAT’s Latin American Strategy Fund (LASF).  LASF supported a workshop on pastoral agriculture in Argentina in June 2010 which brought together many agricultural researchers in the region who had studied at Massey University.  Professors John Hodgson and Steve Morris represented Massey at the workshop.  In July 2011, LASF supported a workshop on the dairy value chain in Santa Fe Province, attended by New Zealand specialists from Innovation Waikato Ltd and PGG Wrightson. 


Political links

Multilateral links

New Zealand and Argentina cooperate in several multilateral fora. Argentina is a fellow member of the Cairns Group and shares New Zealand’s objectives for open, unsubsidised world agricultural trade.  It is a party to the Antarctic Treaty and will host the 34th annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June 2011.  NewZealand and Argentina signed a Statement on Antarctic Cooperation in 1996. New Zealand supported Argentina’s successful bid to house the Antarctic Secretariat.  Argentina was represented by the Secretary of Tourism of the City of Ushuaia, Daniel Leguizamón, in the launch programme,23-27 September 2009, of the“Southern Rim Gateway cities to the Antarctic”, a network sponsored by the Mayor of Christchurch City Council. The two countries collaborate on a wide range of United Nations issues.  Formal consultations between senior foreign ministry officials on common multilateral policy priorities – international security and non-proliferation, environment and sustainability, whales conservation, international fisheries, UN reform and human rights last took place in Wellington in July 2009, while high level discussions took place between New Zealand and Argentine Ministers of Foreign Affairs in August 2010 during the visit of Minister McCully to Argentina. Foreign Ministry consultations are next scheduled for March 2011 in Argentina


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Development assistance

During the 5-year Latin American Development Programme 2006-10, “Bridging the Gaps - Using Collaborative Planning to Strengthen Ties Between Local Government and Civil Society in Argentina, 2006-2010” was New Zealand’s main project in partnership with the Argentine Government, with UNDP as a third partner.  Two groups of local and national politicians and officials visited New Zealand under the auspices of this project, in July 2007 and March 2008, to learn more of NewZealand’s system of local governance. The NewZealand contribution to the project totalled US$528,000.

In February 2009 four politicians from the Santa Fe Provincial and local government and congress visited New Zealand on a study tour with the same theme, supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme and the Argentine foundation Red de Acción Política (Political Action Network).  In addition, the New Zealand Aid Programme offers short-term training awards and two post-graduate scholarships to Argentines each year under the themes of “good governance” and “sustainable rural livelihoods”. The Embassy also administers a small projects (“Head of Mission”) fund of NZ$95,000. See full details of the development relationship on the New Zealand Aid Programme website.

Defence ties

Argentina and New Zealand do not have a formal defence relationship. Defence personnel have operated alongside one another in peace support operations.  In February 2006 Argentine Rear Admiral Paz visited New Zealand for bilateral contacts. At the invitation of its Argentine counterpart, the Royal New Zealand Navy placed a junior officer on board the training frigate Libertad during its cruise from April-July 2008 around Africa and Asia. The Libertad visited NewZealand in September 2008.  In December 2009 Commodore David Anson met with Chief of the Argentine Navy and the Vice Minister of Defence during a visit to the region. 

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High level visits of New Zealanders to Argentina

High level of Argentine visits to New Zealand

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People to people links

Cultural links

The Latin American Strategy Fund has supported several one-off cultural exchanges including a visit to Buenos Aires by Te Papa CEO Seddon Bennington in July 2006, the visit to New Zealand by Clarín cultural editor Fernando García in March 2007 and by La Nación journalist Teresa Bausili in March/April 2008, an artist in residency programme for tango group Vacs Ochoa during the Christchurch Arts Festival in July/August 2007, and the participation of Phil Dadson in an International Polar year exhibition in BuenosAires in March 2008. Self-funding, mainly dance, tours are also increasing steadily including New Zealand participation in annual world tango competitions in Buenos Aires and the participation of top ballet company Iñaki in the Otago Festival of October 2006. The New Zealand Secondary School choir performed in Argentina in July/August 2008.  New Zealand announced during Mr McCully’s visit in August 2010 its intention to contribute a suitable cultural project to Argentina’s Bicentenary celebrations and a NZ film festival and ancillary events are planned for mid 2011.


Argentina is the leading rugby playing nation of the Americas, with a strong and fast growing player base which was given further impulse by the performance of the Pumas in the 2007 World Cup in France. The Pumas have qualified for the 2011 World Cup tournament in New Zealand and will play pool matches in Christchurch, Invercargill and Palmerston North.  The New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs promoted Rugby World Cup 2011 in Argentina during his visit in August 2010, along with New Zealand Rugby Ambassador Andrew Mehrtens and Argentine rugby legend Agustín Pichot.  Argentine fans visiting New Zealand for the World Cup will include a large number of business and professional people and are being targeted in promotional efforts led by the Embassy to interest them in trade and investment opportunities available in New Zealand through the NZ2011 Business Club. Such contacts are expected to continue when Argentina joins the Tri-nations rugby tournament in 2012. 

There have been visits between New Zealand and Argentina by secondary school rugby teams, including by Napier and Gisborne Boys’ High Schools and Christchurch Boys High School Old Boys. The Latin America Strategy Fund has supported a donation of training equipment to the Quilmes club to strengthen its link with New Zealand rugby, and contributed to the visit New Zealand’s International Rugby Academy by around 20 rugby coaches from clubs in the Province of Buenos Aires.

A bilateral cooperation arrangement on sports was signed in 1998 but government-sponsored sports events have not taken place to date

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Key facts


Official Name - Republic of Argentina
Land Area – 2,737,000 sq km
Population – 40.1 million (2010)
Capital City – Buenos Aires (Federal Capital)
Religion – Predominantly Catholic
Official Language – Spanish
Currency – Peso
Exchange Rate – NZ$1 = Pesos 3.00 (approx, January 2010)
EEZ200 miles


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Political system – Federal Republic
National government Partido Justicialista (PJ or Peronist Party).
National legislature – Congress of 257 members Chamber of Deputies and 72 member Senate
Last election June 2009 (mid-term Congressional)
Next election due October 2011 (Presidential)
Head of State – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Head of Government – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Key Ministers –

Vice President - Julio Cobos
Chief of the Cabinet – Aníbal Fernández
Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services - Julio de Vido
Interior – Anibal Florencio Randazzo
Security - Nilda Garré
Economy– Amado Boudou
Industry – Débora Giorgi
Defence – Arturo Puricelli
Agriculture and Fisheries – Julian Domínguez
Education – Juan Carlos Tedesco
Science, Technology and Innovation - Lino Barañao
Foreign Affairs and International Trade - Hector Timerman
Health –Juan Luis Manzur
Justice, Security and Human Rights – Julio Alak
Social Development - Alicia Kirchner
Labour, Employment  - Carlos Tomada

Central Bank President - Mercedes Marcos del Pont

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Key Secretaries of State
(Junior Ministers)

Domestic Trade – Moreno
Agriculture - Basso
Fisheries – Norberto Yauhar
Trade and International Economic Relations – Luis María Kreckler
Foreign Affairs – Alberto Pedro D’Alotto

Key Opposition Figures  

VP Julio Cobos
Coalición Cívica Leader Elisa Carrió
Radical leader Ricardo Alfonsín
PRO leader (BA Mayor) Mauricio Macrí
Ernesto Sanz – UCR
Eduardo Duhalde – dissident Peronist (former President)
Francisco De Nárvaez – dissident Peronist (Unión Celeste y Blanco)
Adolfo Rodríguez Saá – dissident Peronist

Main political parties –

Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronist Party)

Leader: Daniel Scioli

Unión Cívica Radical (UCR)

Leader: Ernesto Sanz

Affirmation for a Republic of Equals (ARI)
Leader: Elisa Carrió

Leader:  Mauricio Macri

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GDP (nominal)

US$361 (2010 estimate)

GDP breakdown







GDP per capita (PPP)

US$15,690 (2010 estimate)

Real GDP growth

8.3% (2010 estimate)

Exports of goods (FOB)

US$70.130 billion (2010 estimate)

Imports of goods

US$53.134 billion (2010 estimate)

Current account

US$8.215 billion (2008 estimate)

Inflation (average)

2010:  10.9% (source: official data); 25% (source: independent estimates)

Unemployment (average)

7.7% (2010 official estimate); 30% (2010 unofficial estimate)

Gross external debt

US $130.2 billion (2010 estimate)

Trade with New Zealand

New Zealand/Argentina top 20 trade figures – [available online from Statistics New Zealand at http://www.stats.govt.nz/products-and-services/ext-trade-stats/default.htm]

NZ Exports (FOB)

NZ$22 million (2010)

Main Exports


Agricultural inputs

Medical/vet sciences equipment


Animal skins

   2.1 million

2.1 million

1.8 million

1.6 million

1.5 million 

NZ Imports (CIF)

NZ$91 million  (2010)

Main Imports

Total Trade

Food waste/animal feed


Sunflower seed oil

Fish and seafood

NZ$113 million (2010)

 55 million

4.2 million

3.4 million

3.4 million


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The New Zealand Embassy in Buenos Aires is responsible for Argentina [external link].

The Argentine Embassy in Wellington is responsible for New Zealand [external link].

Travel advice

The New Zealand government's Safe Travel website has comprehensive travel information including advice on the safety and security of travel to Argentina [external link].

Further enquiries may be directed to:

Consular Division

Tel: +64 4 439 8000
Fax: +64 4 439 8532


New Zealanders and Argentines travelling to each other's country for less than three months do not need to apply for a visa beforehand.


[1] The Glaciers is a national park in the Santa Cruz Province, in Argentine Patagonia. It comprises an area of 4459 km². In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Photo courtesy of the Argentine Ministry of Tourism

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Page last updated: Friday, 12 December 2014 12:45 NZDT