November 15, 2022, 1:59 PM
November 15, 2022, 1:59 PM
The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, experienced a turbulent first day at the G20 summit in Bali, victim of “gastritis” which, however, did not prevent his meeting with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The Argentine president had placed hopes in the second meeting this year with Xi, from which came a commitment to extend its “swap” currency exchange agreements with the Bank of China by 5,000 million dollars.
“President Xi informed us that he had authorized the Chinese government to allow Argentina to freely dispose of 35,000 million yuan, which means 5,000 million dollars,” Fernández said in a subsequent appearance.
The “swap” is an exchange of currencies between two countries, which has no cost while the currencies are not used but remains accounted for in the reserves, in this case of Argentina.
Until now, the amount of the exchange mechanism agreed with China amounted to 130,000 million yuanabout 18,500 million dollars, but Buenos Aires had been asking for an extension for months.
The Chinese state media did not record this pact in their reports on the meeting between the two leaders.
This agreement supposes “to have 5,000 million dollars more in the reserves at the time of arranging the action of the Central Bank for the strengthening of our currency”, affirmed in the same round the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa.
At the last meeting of presidents in February, on the occasion of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Argentina joined the Chinese macro-project of the Belt and Road Initiative, which, according to Casa Rosada, will involve financing for investments of more than 23.7 billion dollars.
But the high-level meeting in Bali was on the air for much of the morning, in which the Argentine president “suffered an episode of hypotension and dizziness” that forced him to absent himself from the debates between the G20 leaders and go to the hospital for a review.
There, he was diagnosed with “erosive gastritis with signs of bleeding,” indicated the Argentine presidency. “He received the appropriate medical treatment, being in good health and resuming his activities with medical supervision,” she added.
“I thank you all for your concern. I’m fine, I’m working well,” Fernández later said.
Nevertheless, The drop in tension made the Argentine the only Latin American leader present in Bali due to the absence of the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will be absent from the debate sessions scheduled for the first day of the summit.
Due to a medical recommendation, he also did not attend the gala dinner organized by the Indonesian president and on Wednesday he will only have a meeting with the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, and an act with the head of the Spanish government. Pedro Sanchez.
In the first meeting of the day, focused on food security and nutrition, the Minister of Foreign Relations, Santiago Cafiero, was in charge of delivering the speech prepared by Fernández.
The foreign minister asked the leaders to “restore peace and contribute to world recovery” and stressed “the effects of war” around the world.
“In the northern hemisphere the merchants of death trade lethal weapons, but in the southern hemisphere food becomes more expensive or lacking and what ends up killing is not bullets or missiles, but poverty and hunger,” he said.
The foreign minister highlighted the especially negative impact of the war in Latin Americawhich has already been deeply hit by the pandemic and registered a 27-year setback in poverty levels, according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
“Latin America and the Caribbean became the region in the world that lost the most years in life expectancy. Now we must face the effects of the war,” he said.