Chinese agro giant to invest $1.5b in Argentina

Updated: 2011-06-10 14:19

By Rodrigo Orihuela (China Daily)

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Heilongjiang Beidahuang Nongken Group Co, China's biggest farming company, plans to invest $1.5 billion to develop farms and expand a port in Argentina's southern region.

The State-owned food producer and the government of Argentina's Rio Negro Province in Patagonia are negotiating an agreement to develop 300,000 hectares of land that are not being farmed, said Maximiliano Bruno, secretary of provincial economic development, on Thursday at a news conference in Buenos Aires.

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China is the largest buyer of soybeans - Argentina's main agricultural export - as well as soy-oil. China is expanding its presence in Latin America by investing in mining, oil and agricultural products as it seeks commodities supplies, and became Argentina's third-largest foreign investor in 2010.

Under the proposed agreement, Beidahuang will provide financing for the farming of wheat, corn, soybeans, fruit and vegetables and the production of wine in Rio Negro without buying land, said Bruno.

The company will expand a hydraulic power plant and San Antonio's port, where the produce will be shipped to China, Bruno said. The investments, which may start as soon as this year, will be made over the next five to 10 years, said Oscar Gomez, project adviser to Rio Negro's local government.

Bloomberg News


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