Uruguayan Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo is off on a European tour seeking to further develop his country's trade ties as the last inflation index showed the government of President Luis Lacalle Pou was already above its 2022 targets.
Bustillo will reportedly seek to advance in the signing of the Mercosur-European Union agreement, which has been stalled for around five years now.
The Uruguayan official met with his Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares, after which both stressed the need to move forward with that project. Bustillo and Albares discussed bilateral ties as well as the international scenario in an encounter where ”special emphasis was placed on advancing towards the signing of the Mercosur-European Union (EU) agreement, according to an Uruguayan statement.
The Spanish minister insisted on his country's full support to that end, which will be evidenced in the scheduled Spanish presidency of the EU in the second half of 2023, during which time Spain intends to prioritize Latin America in the European agenda, the document added.
Bustillo also met Monday with Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister María Reyes Maroto, with whom he reviewed the bilateral economic and trade agenda and highlighted the flow of Spanish investments into Uruguay. Both officials underlined the support for the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. Minister Reyes Maroto pledged to work hard during the planned Spanish presidency of the EU, in the second semester of 2023. She also expressed her interest in visiting Uruguay in the near future to strengthen [bilateral] ties,” Uruguayan authorities reported.
The Uruguayan top diplomat is due in Brussels Tuesday for meetings with European Union leaders.
In the morning, he will be welcomed by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. Later in the day, he will meet MEP Jordi Cañas, rapporteur for the Mercosur-European Union agreement in the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA Committee) and chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Mercosur (DMER). In the afternoon, Bustillo is to hold talks with European Union Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
Meanwhile, in Montevideo, the National Statistics Institute (INE) released its inflation index for the month of August of 2022: 0.83%, which brings the annual CPI increase to 9.53%, way above the government's target of between 3% and 7%.
So far this year, Uruguayan inflation has reached 7.74% and 9.53% year on year. On the other hand, trend inflation, which excludes items with very volatile prices and others administered by the State, reached 9.3%, according to CPA Ferrere, a record high since December 2020.
According to INE, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up 0.22%, Housing 0.06%, Furniture and Household Goods 0.14%, Healthcare 0.16%, Recreation and Culture 0.06%, and Education 0.07%.