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Montevideo, December 9th 2022 - 09:41 UTC

 

 

Argentina's prices too difficult to match, Uruguayan president admits

Saturday, November 12th 2022 - 10:41 UTC
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Lacalle and Arbeleche discussed sending a bill to Congress to change the border law. Photo: Uruguayan Presidency Lacalle and Arbeleche discussed sending a bill to Congress to change the border law. Photo: Uruguayan Presidency

Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Friday insisted his country could not compete with Argentina's prices due to the difference in currency exchange rates and pledges to advance new measures to help businesses in bordering areas heavily affected by residents doing their shopping on the other side.

Lacalle said he had discussed the issue with Economy Minister Azucena Arbeleche and insisted the so-called “border law” will be applied “more extensively” to cover medium and large companies.

“In a few days, an extension of this law will go to the Parliament, which enlarges the items, the amount to give a little more support. It will give more air to companies of all sizes,” Lacalle explained, although he admitted it was “impossible to compete with Argentina.”

“It is not only a law, there are many measures, but I insist, with Argentina's prices it is impossible to compete,” Lacalle said.

The new law will be “a relief for the businesses in our country,” Lacalle also pointed out. The president also explained that “we are working on the issue of imports, which is a matter of rules and regulations.”

Uruguay's national government has been working together with local municipalities on strategies to counteract the effects of the neighboring country's economy, but workers and businessmen demand more support.

The current wording of the border law provides benefits for certain companies. “The items and the amount will be enlarged to give more air to companies of all sizes,” Lacalle announced while pledging to work on the issue of micro imports and tariffs applied in Uruguay.

Lacalle Pou also spoke during an appearance in Artigas about a possible free trade zone in the country's north and the Free Trade Agreement with China. He announced that there were investors interested in this duty-free zone. Regarding trade with China, Lacalle explained Uruguay will only go on with its bilateral negotiations in case Mercosur opposes, and pointed out the recent trip to Japan and the opening of bovine tongue exports to the Asian country as examples of the good work done by the administration in its line of openness. “We are good at producing, generating, so we have to open the world to Uruguayans”, he pointed out.

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