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Belonging to Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance is ‘not incompatible’ says Uruguay

Friday, July 12th 2013 - 20:17 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Vice-president Astori called on Mercosur ‘powerful members’ to allow accords with other blocks Vice-president Astori called on Mercosur ‘powerful members’ to allow accords with other blocks

Uruguay Vice-president Danilo Astori said that belonging to Mercosur and the Alliance of the Pacific is ‘not incompatible’ and called on the ‘powerful members’ of Mercosur to support an agreement with the Pacific Alliance of which Uruguay and Paraguay are already observers.

“There should be a willingness to accord with other experiences, with which there should not be incompatibility, but rather elaborate a web, intense and deep of possibilities for our enterprises”, said Astori during the Mercosur Business Forum, which took place in Montevideo in the framework of the Mercosur summit.

“We are asking for support so that all country members of Mercosur can have the chance to reach agreements with other blocks, that are growing such is the case of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico)”, said Astori addressing the forum.

Astori said Uruguay already has bilateral agreements with all Alliance members but “it’s not the same having accords with each of them that one with the whole block”.
He added that Mercosur must advance in its integration and “lower the levels of protection regarding other countries”.

The Uruguayan Vice-president who last May attended the Alliance summit in Cali, Colombia said at the time that Uruguay was working to become “a full member of the group as soon as it was possible”.

This he emphasized would facilitate access to Asia which for Uruguay is ‘strategic’ not only because China has become the country’s second trading partner only behind neighbouring Brazil.

According to Eclac (UN Economic Commission for Latam and the Caribbean) trade among the Alliance countries in 2012 increased 1.3%, while among Mercosur members it was down 9.4%.

Astori’s position was supported by most businesspeople from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay that attended the forum, arguing that the link between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance is ‘inexorable’ and could represent great benefits for both blocks.

“At some point, some kind of territorial union will take place between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur which is going to allow us access to two oceans”, said Carlos Restaino, Director of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s impossible not to imagine this happening” he added.

Sooner than later the integration of the two blocks is inevitable, and so is the formation of a great Latinamerican alliance, according to Juan Angel Ciolli from the Latam Association of Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprises.

However, Ciolli also underlined that the Alliance must also understand that Mercosur has ‘greater ambitious’ pretensions than only a free trade space.

Top Comments

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  • Conqueror

    Poor Astori, he doesn't have a clue. Talk about running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. The Pacific Alliance is interested in trade. Mercosur wants hegemony. And he thinks that's “not incompatible”! Let's look into the future. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru don't like the way that mercosur does things or they would have joined. Anybody think Paraguay is going to be an enthusiastic supporter of the “mercosur bloc”? I reckon that anything the “merco bloc” pushes for will be blocked. As the “mercos” realise that they can't “take over” they will become disenchanted. I reckon that the first to go will be argieland. It's imperial ambitions won't be accepted. Next out will be Venezuela. Unable to use “Chavez-like” tactics, it will complain that it isn't allowed to determine “objectives”. Brazil will be the last but one to leave, frightened by the preponderance of “Spanish” states. Last will be Uruguay. Frightened as usual, it will finally realise that it can't be part of the Alliance with Brazil and argieland in the way. How on earth can Uruguay think to be part of a Pacific Alliance? It has no connection with the Pacific. If it doesn't have the courage to do its own thing, it should just make its choice. Part of Brazil or part of argieland?

    Jul 13th, 2013 - 12:05 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    Uruguay is a sovereign state and can do as it wishes.

    Whether this will accord with Mercosur or not simply does not matter and frankly the faster they actually JOIN the PA the better from my point of view.

    Jul 13th, 2013 - 05:02 pm 0
  • Elena

    2@ Given Uruguay geographic position I can understand they wanting to keep good relations with both Brazil and Argentina, in the long run that´s a good idea imo. But Uruguay inmediate economic needs point to get an understaning with the Pacific Alliance.

    Astori wants to be a member of the PA and Mercosurand I think this can get done, with both Bolivia and Venezuela inside Mercosur, Astori has the argument for Uruguay to be part of the Pacific Alliance as both these states are part of ALBA but first he has to deal with a part of his own goverment who are agaisnt that idea. ppl probably will vote them out next elections if they don´t decide quickly IMO.

    Jul 14th, 2013 - 08:03 pm 0
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