BUENOS AIRES, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Growing trade and investment ties between Beijing and Buenos Aires have resulted in more Chinese enterprises dipping their toes in the water in Argentina.
China and Argentina have enjoyed closer cooperation, with Chinese Ambassador to Argentina Yin Hengmin saying Chinese investment has skyrocketed in recent years.
Figures from the Chinese embassy in Argentina show more than 30 Chinese companies are operating here, with business ranging from television production, mineral exploration, energy, finance, to shipping and fishery.
Currently, China has become Argentina's third largest source of investment, following the United States and Spain, and its second largest trading partner.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China's giant offshore oil and gas producer, has purchased a 50 percent stake worth about 1 billion U.S. dollars in Pan American Energy, Argentina's second biggest oil company.
Sinopec Group, China's state-owned oil producer, has acquired assets of U.S. and western oil companies in Argentina, worth a total of 2 billion dollars.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a major Chinese state-owned commerical bank, has taken an 80 percent stake in Standard Bank Argentina for about 600 million dollars.
Local media say the development of the strategic partnership between Beijing and Buenos Aires is behind the swift growth of the Chinese investment to Argentina.
In addition, the two countries have complementary economies. Data from the Chinese embassy in Argentina show bilateral trade volume soared to 17 billion dollars in 2011.
Agricultural cooperation between Beijing and Buenos Aires is another important sector of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. China has become one of the main export destinations of Argentina's soybeans and soybean oil.
In 2011, agricultural trade volume between the two countries reached 5 billion dollars, accounting for one third of total bilateral trade.
The two countries also signed a series of cooperation agreements in agriculture in June 2011, when then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Argentina.
Earlier this year, Argentina's dairy products have come to China after its beef products were authorized to re-enter the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, with the two countries optimizing their trade structure, a growing number of high value-added technology products from China have entered the Argentine market.
Argentina began to upgrade its commuter train system this year and purchased modern motor train units and carriages worth some 1 billion dollars from China CNR Corporation and CSR Corporation, leading Chinese rolling stock manufacturers.
Moreover, China and Argentina have built political mutual trust and reached broad consensus on the prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation.
The strategic partnership was set up in 2004 when then Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Argentina, marking the start of the golden period of bilateral ties.
In June 2011, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said Wen's visit had pushed bilateral ties to a new high.
Furthermore, humanistic exchanges and cooperation have built bridges. Two Confucius Institutes have been established here, and many local colleges offer Chinese language classes.
The sound development of China-Argentina relations has proved it is a necessary choice for the two peoples to forge friendly ties, which serves the fundamental interests of both sides.
Ambassador Yin said that mutual respect on the issues concerning each other's core interests, including sovereignty and territorial integrity, had laid a solid foundation for the steady development of bilateral ties.
What's more, mutually beneficial economic ties between China and Argentina had boosted bilateral trade cooperation, and mutual support in the international arena had guaranteed the common interests of both sides, Yin said.