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economy 5-day Euro trip

Macri leaves Davos with Dutch nuclear deal and big investment expectations

Argentina's INVAP will partner with Dutch firm Pallas Foundation to build a US$400-million nuclear reactor in the Dutch city of Petten.

Saturday 3 February, 2018
President Mauricio Macri is the first South American leader to preside the G20.
President Mauricio Macri is the first South American leader to preside the G20. Foto:Télam

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Argentina’s state-owned nuclear entity INVAP will partner with the Dutch firm Pallas Foundation to build a US$400-million nuclear reactor for the Dutch city of Petten.

The announcement came during President Mauricio Macri’s participation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where in lieu of other major investment announcements he has been agitating for progress in the ongoing free-trade negotiations between the European Union and the Mercosur.

Macri, an established businessman, seemed right at home in Davos among the world’s political and business elite, to whom — both privately and publicly — he has emphatically talked up Argentina’s potential as one of the world’s most promising destinations for foreign investors.

 “No other country has bigger potential than Argentina” when it comes to “solar power, hydrocarbon reserves and non-conventional energy”, Macri told attendees of the Forum's plenary, where spoke as president of the G20.

On confirmation of the partnership between INVAP and Pallas, Macri said: “This is a very important milestone for us because it confirms that Argentina can be a reliable partner in the peaceful use of nuclear technology”.

The project is valued at US$400 million, La Nación reported, and will involve the construction of a multi-functional nuclear reactor to produce medical isotopes and conduct nuclear technology research.

It is so far just one of a handful of concrete deals to stem from Macri’s trip to Russia, Switzerland and France.

On Monday, Russian president Vladimir Putin confirmed, without providing details, that Russian firms will participate in the modernisation of Argentina’s railways. In Moscow, Macri met with representatives of 18 of Russia's biggest companies in agriculture, energy, tech and construction.

At Davos, Macri has been particularly vocal about the future of European Union and Mercosur free-trade negotiations, a topic which featured strongly in the 15-minute meet-and-greet between Macri and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

During his address to the Forum’s plenary on Thursday, Macri took aim at France for allegedly dragging its feet on a possible deal. “France is behind it”, he said of obstacles surrounding agriculture.

Macri’s final destination on his three-nation trip is France, where he will participate in bilateral talks with President Emannuel Macron and meet with French business leaders.

-TIMES/AGENCIES

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