Argentine president Mauricio Macri ended on Friday his European tour in Paris, where he addressed the business community and potential investors, and later held a private meeting with president Emmanuel Macron. According to Argentine sources there is strong French investors' interest, but apparently Macron held his ground when regarding the EU/Mercosur overall trade agreement.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing is willing to negotiate step by step, a free trade agreements with Uruguay and other countries in South America, particularly members of Mercosur.
Argentina has left behind its populist experiment, and there is no other country with greater potential, Argentine president Mauricio Macri told the World Economic Forum in Davos during a speech to the forum of world political and business leaders.
The European Commission and Mercosur are planning to resume negotiations to reach a new Association Agreement during this month. The Commissioner of the European Trade Commission, Cecilia Malmström, stated that, after the last negotiating round, which took place in early December, and after the attempt to reach an agreement in the framework of the last round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held from 11 to 14 December, the agreement was very close and would be reached in a matter of weeks.
New Year has taken off in Uruguay with a raft of utilities' rates increases which includes power, fuels, drinking water, telecommunications, urban bus fares, plus extra taxes on tobacco and gambling. Inflation in the twelve months to November was 6.30%.
Although Uruguay is well positioned internationally when it comes to corruption perception, it is considered among the least corrupt together with Chile in Latin America by Transparency International and LatinoBarometer, a public opinion poll published the last week of 2017 in Montevideo seems to show quite a different perception, particularly among young people.
The Falkland Islands Environment Committee, held a lively debate on the cost of the landing fee for cruise visitors which is scheduled to be increased to £25 per passenger, and which was described as “the highest in the region” by the head of the Islands Tourist Board.
The European Union now hopes to conclude a trade deal with the Mercosur bloc by February next year. EU agriculture chief Phil Hogan admitted that there were still 15 “open issues”, following a “difficult” meeting with the Mercosur countries in Buenos Aires last week.
Officials in Venezuela took the first step on Saturday toward expelling top diplomats from Brazil and Canada who have been accused of meddling in the country’s politics. National constituent assembly president Delcy Rodriguez declared both Brazil’s ambassador and Canada’s charge d’affaires as persona non grata, a move which does away with their diplomatic credentials.
Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Munoz called for closer ties between Latin America's two leading trade blocs. Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance should work more closely together, Munoz told the 51st Mercosur and associate members summit held this week in Brasilia.