The Uruguay-Germany commerce and industry chamber (AHK), expressed its deepest concern over the current tension in relations between Uruguay and Argentina, and warned about the impact on the business climate for the two countries.
The release refers to President Jose Mujica's administration recent authorization for the UPM-Botnia pulp mill to increase its annual production, strongly objected by the government of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez, which warned it would take the case back again to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and make a 'reassessment' of bilateral relations at all levels.
Germany is the European Community leading trade partner of Uruguay and one of the top three at world level, and thus the Chamber is following with special attention the impact of the situation between its partners, both for Uruguayan and German companies, since most of them have close trade links with Argentina, be it directly or through bilateral agreements or Mercosur instruments.
The chamber (AHK), which has 450 Uruguayan and German companies as members supports all negotiation instances and offers to collaborate to overcome the differences in the shortest time possible, so as to avoid loss of business deals and further damage the already difficult path of Mercosur in search of a free trade agreement with the European Union.
President Jose Mujica was asked about the conflict with Argentina during the celebrations on Thursday of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Jose Artigas who is considered the father figure and first patriot of the Uruguayan nation.
Looking back into history two centuries ago, federalism was also a source of problems and conflicts, but it is also the beacon showing us the way to the future, said Mujica in reference to the fact that Artigas was the first independence leader to actively propose a federal republican system (copied from the USA) for the former River Plate Spanish colonies.
However and not surprisingly Artigas was betrayed by Buenos Aires and ended in exile in Paraguay, while in his absence Montevideo was looted by Buenos Aires troops two hundred years ago.
The Buenos Aires May revolution patriots preferred a strong unitary system with a king, which they hoped to recruit in Europe, and that is why among other things the Argentine flag has the colors of the Royal Borbon family, and thus Artigas was anathema.
In his short period Artigas also declared freedom of slaves, proclaimed the same rights for the indigenous population and distributed land. Artigas ended in exile but the Buenos Aires animosity towards what would be later Uruguay was so intense that it helped create a Uruguayan national spirit which finally crystallized in an independent country in 1830, with the support of the then global reigning power, England.