Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez travels to Chile next April 9/10 to hold meetings with his counterpart Michelle Bachelet and to advance negotiations for a lower tariffs system between Mercosur and Chile, announced Tuesday Reinaldo Gargano, Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister.
Mercosur, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, already has a free trade agreement with Chile including a gradual lower tariffs process which should culminate in 2012, said Gargano. "What we are considering now is to speed up the process and reach the lowest tariff possible by 2010", added Gargano. "Cutting the original timetable in a couple of years would be very important for all of us", indicated the minister who added that during the coming visit of president Vazquez the possibility of Uruguay and Chile associating or jointly doing business with Southeast Asia will be considered. The Uruguayan delegation includes several businessmen and "we are going to explore all possibilities of joint opportunities in Southeast Asia". The meeting between Vazquez and Bachelet should also help advance with a joint agreement between ProChile and Uruguay XXI, for joint world promotion of the two countries produce and expand exports, according to Uruguayan sources. At the end of March a delegation of Chilean officials and businessmen will be visiting Uruguay for a couple of days to talk about foreign trade policies, particularly Chile's success in signing trade agreements with the world's main trading powers.