Investment tops agenda as Hurd meets Menem

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Economic relations and British investment prospects in Argentina eclipsed the Falklands dispute in talks yesterday between the Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, and the Argentine Foreign Minister, Guido di Tella. Britain remained on the sidelines of the first big Argentine privatisations, but British investments have grown recently in gas distribution and the oil industry.

Mr Hurd arrived on Wednesday for a three-day official visit. He is planning to spend the weekend at a ranch belonging to friends before travelling on to Chile. Mr Hurd's visit to Argentina, the first by a British foreign secretary for 27 years, has been described as 'historic' by the Argentine press, although the media and diplomats expect nothing very concrete to result. Mr Di Tella described his first meeting with the Foreign Secretary in the morning as 'very positive.' Mr Hurd met President Carlos Menem at the end of the morning and was scheduled to resume his talks with Mr Di Tella in the afternoon.

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