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Bilateral relations between the EU and Argentina are governed by the Framework Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement, which entered into force in 1990.

As a member of Mercosur, Argentina is also party to the EU-Mercosur Framework Co-operation Agreement signed in 1995, which includes provisions on trade cooperation.  Argentina is also part in the on-going negotiations of an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.

Trade picture

  • The EU is Argentina's second trading partner  (after Brazil), accounting for 15.7% of total Argentinean trade in 2016. In 2016 EU-Argentina bilateral trade in goods totalled EUR 16.7 billion.
  • Argentina exports to the EU primarily food and live animals (65%) and crude materials except fuel (16%) (2016 data).
  • The EU exports to Argentina mainly manufactured goods, such as machinery and transport equipment (50%) and chemical products (22.6%) (2016 data).
  • Exports of services to Argentina remained rather stable between 2012 and 2014, at around EUR 4 billion, recording an increase to EUR 4.8 billion in 2015.

EU-Argentina: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 8.1 9.1 1.0
2016 8.2 8.5 0.3
2017 8.2 9.9 1.7

EU-Argentina: Trade in services

Trade in services 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 1.9 3.9 2.0
2015 2.2 4.4 2.2
2016 2.2 4.6 2.4

EU-Argentina: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2016, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2016 1.3 40.1 38.8

Date of retrieval: 16/04/2018

More statistics on Argentina

EU and Argentina

For a number of years Argentina imposed significant barriers on imports, exports and capital flows. As a result, the trade and investment climate deteriorated significantly. Since late 2015, however, the situation has substantially improved as the current Argentine Government has taken important steps to improve the business climate and eliminated a significant number of the barriers to trade and investment, which had built up over the years. This includes removing a number of non-automatic import licences, exchange controls and the scaling back of export duties.

The Framework Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement is managed through periodic meetings of the EU-Argentina Joint Cooperation Committee, which includes dialogue on trade matters.  Following a number of years without meetings, the EU and Argentina have re-engaged in their bilateral dialogue on trade matters. In this context, the 10th EU-Argentina Joint Cooperation Committee held in March 2017 allowed for a thorough review of all relevant bilateral trade issues and decisions on actions to try to move forward in a number of areas, including SPS, TBT and IPR. 

Although EU companies and investors report a marked improvement in the business climate in Argentina, a number of problems remain, which the EU continues to monitor and take up in bilateral contacts  with Argentina. This includes for instance:

  • Although export duties have been eliminated for most products, they continue to be applied on soy products, raw hides and skins, biodiesel, mineral fuels and a few other products.
  • Argentina applies non-automatic import licences to around 1500 tariff lines, affecting almost 26% of EU exports to Argentina.
  • Argentina adopted a law in 2016 to support the domestic auto-part sector that imposes local content requirements to obtain certain fiscal advantages with distortive effects on trade and investments.

Owing to its classification according to the World Bank as high middle income country, as of 1 January 2014 Argentina no longer benefits from EU unilateral trade preferences under the General System of Preferences scheme.

Argentina in Mercosur

Mercosur is an economic and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the area of trade Mercosur's purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency between its members. 

Mercosur is also engaged in FTA negotiations with other trading partners such as the EU.   An EU-Mercosur Association Agreement could greatly benefit both sides by removing tariff and non-tariff barriers and improving conditions for bilateral trade an investment.

More information on Mercosur

Trading with Argentina