Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou said Thursday during the virtual Export Day celebrations that “we like to play on a large court, and not on a small, protected one.”
The event was held under the motto Regional economy: What to expect in the coming months?
Lacalle added that “the head of the Government is to strengthen our market, facilitate procedures and structurally address the prices of producing, industrializing and providing services.
The Uruguayan leader said his administration was focused on strengthening Mercosur as well as on world commerce, by reducing tariffs, coupled with an efficient port and streamline bureaucratic procedures.
Also attending the event were Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado; Minister of Economy and Finance Azucena Arbeleche; Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo; Banco República CEO Salvador Ferrer; the head of the Exporters Union, Andrea Roth, and analysts Salvador Di Stefano, from Argentina, and Gustavo Segré, from Brazil.
Lacalle also highligted the fragility of foreign trade with the example of what happened a few weeks ago when a ship blocked traffic through the Suez Canal.
The President then underscored that prices for Uruguay are at an auspicious moment, but he warned it should not be misleading and that this is the precise moment to make the necessary structural changes for when that situation is reversed.
Lacalle pointed out that the world trusts Uruguay and its people. We like to play on a large court, and not on a small, protected court, said the president. In that sense, he recalled that the Uruguayan company Dlocal, specialized in payment solutions and classified as a unicorn, began this week to be listed on Wall Street. It is a clear example that Uruguayans have the conditions to get ahead. The government has to help them, he stressed.
He also said that Mercosur is being negotiated, about which a false dichotomy was generated. He stressed that it is not a question of slamming the door or walking away, because there is an intimate link with the countries of the bloc. Despite the fact that trade within the area was reduced, it is still a place where we trade and we can improve, many times, just by reducing red tape, he added.
The President concurred with the Union of Exporters about the future of the port. We have nuances. What is clear is that, whatever its legal configuration, the Government has already made a decision, based on the law and national conveniences, that it has to be effective and efficient,” he said.
He also expressed that there is a specific commitment to improve, with the possibility, among others, of dredging the entrance channel to the port and maintaining the passage to the Río de la Plata at an acceptable depth compared to the world, which can determine better volumes and lower freight costs, as well as benefit exporters.