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Montevideo, October 22nd 2016 - 01:48 UTC

Uruguayan president believes Argentine economy “can’t remain closed much longer”

Thursday, January 3rd 2013 - 00:40 UTC
Full article 14 comments
Mujica reasonably optimistic about the Uruguayan economy this year Mujica reasonably optimistic about the Uruguayan economy this year

President Jose Mujica anticipated that the Argentine economy can’t remain ‘closed for much more time’ (protectionist) and forecasted that 2013 will be a ‘clear year’ for Uruguay regarding economic issues.

“We might have economic difficulties with Argentina. They currently have a much closed project but the Argentine economy can’t remain locked in for much longer” insisted president Mujica in an interview with the government financed daily La Republica.

Mujica also referred to the other major neighbour of Uruguay and Mercosur member, Brazil and underlined the “significant political determination” of President Dilma Rousseff’ administration “to favour and promote integration” with Uruguay.

Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are full members of Mercosur the regional customs block which also includes Venezuela incorporated last July, and Paraguay that remains suspended following the Senate impeachment and removal of Fernando Lugo and his replacement by President Federico Franco.

“We must acknowledge that when we needed help, because of economic difficulties, the Brazilian government has always stood up for us”, added Mujica.

As to Venezuela and the health of President Hugo Chavez, allegedly recovering in Havana from his fourth cancer surgery, Mujica admitted “yes we have a degree of uncertainty and a question mark as to the future” if the re-elected president can’t take office next January 10.

Former guerrilla Mujica has a long standing friendship with Chavez and sent him a personal letter wishing him a quick recovery. He also announced the intention of flying to Havana to visit him in hospital.

Finally Mujica said that Uruguay has managed to diversify markets for its overseas sales and this despite the fact “the world has become a difficult place, I still am reasonably optimistic about the future of the economy”.

The Uruguayan economy according to official data expanded 3% in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2011. Uruguay has been growing sustainedly since 2003.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Shed-time

    Clearly it can remain closed a lot longer, just like in North Korea.

    It's that simple.

    Jan 03rd, 2013 - 09:09 am 0
  • Be serious

    How can Mercosur exist in its present form if Argentina can close its economy/markets.
    And I thought the EU wasn't very good.

    Jan 03rd, 2013 - 01:27 pm 0
  • Condorito

    Mujica is right, it can’t remain closed. The curtailment of economic freedom has started to bite in Argentina, forcing people to find their own ways round the restrictions. “Tourist” arrivals of Argies in to Chile increased 29% in 2012. Half of all foreigners arriving in Chile are now from Argentina. They are basically getting around the import restrictions by doubling up their holidays with an annual durable goods shopping spree. The ones I have spoken to say that food and accommodation here is expensive for them but all the electronic goods are much less expensive and more readily available than in Argentina.

    Traditionally when the exchange rate is unfavourable for the Argies, they just don’t come, whereas now they are coming in greater numbers than ever, despite the cost because they just can’t get essentials back home. With millions of Argies prepared to cross the border to buy what they need, CFK’s measures will fail. The imports will arrive, the dollars will leave, just in an extraordinarily inefficient manner.

    If CKF wants to take it to the next level she will have to restrict the movement of people and that isn’t going to happen.

    Jan 03rd, 2013 - 02:15 pm 0
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