Macri and Xi Jinping in Beijing. Photo via La Nacion.

President Macri arrived in Beijing on Saturday, where he spoke today in front of the Argentina-China Business and Investment Forum at the China World Summit Wing hotel just after 2pm local time. The forum included 600 Chinese business owners and around a hundred representatives of Argentine businesses. Macri laid out his vision for the future of the relationship between Argentina and China, highlighting the ways in which Chinese investment could be crucial in Argentina. China is already one of Argentina’s key business partners, a fact Macri pointed out in his speech.

“Argentina and China have had a diplomatic relationship for 45 years, and it’s grown over time. Today China is our second biggest business partner and an important investor. As President I think that what’s yet to come is much more important than what happened in the past.”

“China can provide us with technology, but more than anything in the construction of infrastructure. Argentina in particular has a lot of work ahead in the construction of roads, bridges, ports and airports to connect us… The Chinese would be able to do this in our area. There are already many businesses that have placed their bets on the region and I hope today to find more who want to come and invest.”

Macri also referenced Argentina’s food industry, saying, “We want to move on from being the world’s breadbasket and become the world’s supermarket.” The Argentine President was hopeful that Chinese investment would help make this a reality: “Argentina produces food for 400 million people and we’re hoping to double that in 5 to 8 years; I’m sure that with the help of Chinese business we can do it.”