efe-epaBeijing

The president of Argentina on Tuesday called China a strategic partner, and said his country wants to be a predictable and reliable friend to Beijing.

Argentina and China are trying to restart major joint energy projects that have stalled since a change in administration in Argentina in December 2015.

"We believe that to grow we have to have exchanges with the world every day and China is a very strategic partner," Mauricio Macri said at the close of the Argentina-China Business and Investment Forum in Beijing on Tuesday.

In his address, the president also tried to inspire confidence among Chinese investors and businessmen present at the event.

"We want to be a predictable and reliable partner for our Chinese friends, who wish to come and work with us," said Macri, who began a state visit to China on Monday by attending the International Forum on the New Silk Road.

Macri will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Wednesday, to discuss developments in several projects that are a priority for China, including the Nestor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic Hydroelectric Station projects, and the construction of two nuclear power plants on Argentinean soil.

"Today China is the second largest trading partner of our country and an important investor, but (...) we think that what's going to come is more important than what happened in the past," according to Macri.

The president said Argentina presently produces food for 400 million people and aims to double that volume in the next 5-8 years.

"We want to stop being the granary of the world and want to be the supermarket of the world," he added.

Macri, who also met executives from several Chinese corporations on Tuesday morning, said there is a lot of interest in the development of infrastructure.

"You have done it in the last few decades in this country. You have the capacity of doing it in our country and our region," he emphasized.