New deal to allow Irish to work in Argentina

Irish people aged less than 35 years can live and work in Argentina for up to nine months under a new agreement.

The Holiday Working Agreement also allows Argentinian citizens to remain in Ireland for 12 months.

Up to 100 people a year can avail of the arrangement, signed today by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern and his Argentinian counterpart, Jorge E Taiana.

It is believed to be the first agreement of its kind with Argentina.

Mr Ahern said the arrangement allows students to obtain a short-term work permit.

"The main purpose of the programme being put in place is to allow young people from both countries to gain a better understanding of the other country and each other and to build relationships for the future," he said.

"The value of this in growing the bilateral relationship into the future is clear."

Trade between both countries was worth €110m in 2006.

Ireland's main exports to Argentina include medical and pharmaceutical products, office and data processing machines and photography equipment.

Argentina's main exports to Ireland include animal feedstuffs, oil, seeds and fruit and vegetables.

"Although total trade dropped significantly following the economic crisis in Argentina, we have now surpassed the highest pre-crisis trade figures.

Mr Ahern, who was in Buenos Aires for St Patrick's Day events, also had a working lunch with Defence Minister Nillda Garre.

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