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Uruguayan President Jose Mujica begins on Wednesday the longest and most ambitious of his overseas trips hoping to convince China to invest in infrastructure projects that are crucial for the development of the country and its foreign trade: a deep water port and recovering the rail cargo network.
Uruguay awarded French gas and power group GDF Suez SA a contract to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification plant at an estimated cost of 1.125 billion dollars, the government said on Tuesday.
Uruguayan exports of goods in March continued falling thus closing a discouraging first quarter, according to Uruguay XXI, the country’s agency responsible for promoting trade and investment in the country.
Uruguay exports increased 9% last year over 2011 reaching 8.751 billion dollars a numerical historic record according to the primary figures released by the Instituto Uruguay XXI, a government funded organization to promote foreign trade. Soybeans, beef and rice remain as Uruguay’s main export items.
Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said that Argentina “is ready to sign” the deep dredging of the River Plane access canal Martin Garcia but warned that before doubts generated by Uruguay’s National Auditing Office regarding the performance of dredgers’ Riovía during the tender process, must be resolved.
Uruguay will continue “to look after” Mercosur in spite of the strong diplomatic discrepancies with Argentina, but will also continue with an interest in participating in other trade blocks of the region, said President Jose Mujica.
The Uruguayan government said on Monday there will be no public statements on the latest “situations” with Argentina, and Uruguay will keep to what was agreed at presidential level during the last (31 July) Mercosur extraordinary meeting in Brasilia.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica said on Monday it “is not useful” for foreign ministries to publicly exchange letters following Argentina’s latest message accusing Uruguay of not collaborating in exposing claims of alleged bribes involving the works planned for the widening and deep-dredging of the River Plate access canal Martin Garcia.
President Jose Mujica travels to Brasilia on Monday for the Mercosur extraordinary summit on Venezuela, but his agenda also includes talking with Cristina Fernandez about the latest clash referred to the dredging of a shared River Plate access canal and with host Dilma Rousseff about his growing proximity to Brazil.
A memorandum of understanding with Mercosur and a deep sea port to the east of Uruguay were two of the main issues addressed by visiting Chinese PM Wen Jiabao with President Jose Mujica revealed the Executive Deputy Secretary.