Luis Lacalle Pou wanted to “modernize” and “open up” Mercosur during his visit to Paraguay

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Uruguayan president spoke of the importance of changing the economic bloc and its functioning

President Mario Abdo Benítez awarded Lacalle Pou a decoration on the occasion of the 211th anniversary of Paraguay's independence.
President Mario Abdo Benítez awarded Lacalle Pou a decoration on the occasion of the 211th anniversary of Paraguay’s independence.

During his official visit to Paraguay, Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou stressed the importance of strengthening trade deals and “modernizing” Mercosur with greater economic investments that allow it to “open up to the world”.

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“We insist on being a region open to the world. Paraguay did this in countries far from the region, and it was successful. Same in Uruguay. Lacalle, in a press conference with Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, said that all of us belonging to the bloc should open up in this sense.

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During his recent visits to the countries of the region, the Uruguayan president stressed that every country should be able to negotiate trade deals at its own pace, without the bureaucracy of the bloc. This has to do with what happened during the country’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with China.

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In addition, Uruguayan president Luis Lacalle Pou agreed at the last meeting of the bloc leaders in December: he does not see “all his interests fully satisfied” in his country, Mercosur.

Lacalle Pou and Abdo Benítez “discussed the issues on the dual agenda and projections for Mercosur. Paraguay and Uruguay are strategic partners in various fields, including investment and infrastructure,” Paraguayan Foreign Minister Julio Arriola said at a press conference this Saturday.

Lacalle Pou, Paraguay
Lacalle Pou considers Paraguay’s “natural exit to the sea” via the Port of Montevideo.

“1,800,000 hectares of land, mostly in the Chaco region, are owned by Uruguayan businessmen” The foreign minister referred to the fact that Uruguay is the country’s fifth largest shareholder.

In addition, both leaders spoke of the importance of the port of Montevideo as a “natural outlet” to the Paraguayan sea. “We have an opportunity like never before due to the economic and productive growth of Paraguay and the ever-present port profession of our entire country to move in that direction. “I am convinced that Uruguay has Paraguay’s natural outlet to the sea,” he said.

In this sense, Abdo Benitez added: Annually, 560,000 tons of Paraguayan grain are shipped from the port of Uruguay to other parts of the world, from which more than 500,000 tons of fertilizers are imported.

Lacalle Pou also received a decoration from the President of Paraguay on the occasion of the 211th anniversary of the independence of the Guarani country. Also on Sunday, the Uruguayan chef visited a pork industry in the town of Encarnación, 400km from the capital, because the product is Uruguayan imports from Paraguay.

In July, the president will visit Paraguay again. Mercosur Heads of State Summit will be done there. He is also scheduled to travel to the UK later this month to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Although the date is not specified, the purpose of the trip is to “strengthen diplomatic ties” and “expand commercial relations” as stated by the Presidency.

Source: Info Bae

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