Argentina's Industry Ministry signed an agreement with Porsche importer Grupo Pulenta according to which, the company will have to offset all car imports with equivalent exports of wine and olives.
The deal complies with local regulations that allow companies to import cars for sale only if they export goods of the same value. Grupo Pulenta, which aims to import 100 vehicles worth around $8 million this year, will therefore have to export wine and olive products to 18 countries, including the U.S. and neighboring Brazil.
The agreement comes two weeks after Volkswagen signed a deal with the Argentine government to increase exports from VW's Cordoba plant by 77 percent in 2011, so that the deficit between the company's exports and imports will drop around 70 percent.
Automobile sales in Argentina rose 43 percent in 2010 to a record 698,299 units, according to the country's Automobile Manufacturers Association. Out of these, 435,767 units were imported. Exports from Argentina's car industry reached 447,953 units last year.
By Dan Mihalascu