Mercosur structural convergence fund, Focem, which was created in 2005, has distributed 1.1 billion US dollars among its full members for the implementation of 37 projects basically to improve roads for inter-region and international trade, according to official figures released in Asunción.
Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman in Asuncion for the Mercosur summit promised on Tuesday Argentina will put an end to fluvial obstacles to Paraguayan trade. Landlocked Paraguay trades with the rest of the world through the Parana River, most of which crosses Argentine territory.
Japan is attending the Mercosur summit in Paraguay with an eye on proposing the launch of a dialogue to boost bilateral economic relations and explore the possibility of signing a free trade agreement, reports the Japanese news agency Kyodo.
The Mercosur summit will be an opportunity to solve asymmetry problems and social inequalities in the region, said Paraguay’ Foreign Affairs minister Jorge Lara Castro. The South American customs union is meeting this week in Asuncion for the first of two annual summits when the rotating chair will be passed on to Uruguay.
Mercosur summits have become a display of empty rhetoric, full of protocol and ‘family photos’ but with no full hearted willingness to achieve a solid, fair integration, claimed the head of the Paraguayan delegation before Parlasur, the Mercosur Parliament.
Presidents from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador have confirmed they will be attending the Mercosur summit in Paraguay next June 28/29, when the rotating chair of the group for the next six months will pass on to Uruguay.
Mercosur full member Paraguay’s economy expanded 4.6% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to a year ago boosted by agriculture in spite of a slowdown in cattle farming and construction, according to the country’s Central bank latest report.
In spite of bouts of Asian rust and the appearance of the ‘green stem syndrome’, GSS, Paraguay harvested a record 8.3 million tons of soy beans with a yield of 2.917 kilos per hectare and a 7.1% expansion of the area dedicated to the oilseed.
Brazilian Defence and diplomatic sources consider ‘highly inconvenient’ disclosing documents from the time of the military dictatorship (1964/1985) and from other administrations because they could reveal nuclear secrets and affect relations with Argentina, according to Folha de Sao Paulo.
Argentina will be hosting on Thursday the first meeting of the South American Economy and Finance Council that will bring together Economy ministers and Central bank governors from members of Unasur, Union of South American Nations.