Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Wednesday praised his Argentine counterpart Javier Milei's willingness to cooperate in further dredging the River Plate at the Port of Montevideo from 13 to 14 meters. The previous administrations of Argentine Presidents Mauricio Macri and Alberto Fernández (2015-2023) considered that these works would leave the port of Buenos Aires in a disadvantageous position. Negotiations in this regard started in 2013 under Presidents Tabaré Vázquez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK).
Since the beginning of our government, we have promoted the dredging to 14 meters of the access channel to the port of Montevideo. Today we can finally move forward. I want to acknowledge the great work of our technical team and the goodwill of President Javier Milei and [Argentine Foreign Minister] Diana Mondino, Lacalle wrote on X.
Last week, Mondino and her Uruguayan colleague Omar Paganini agreed to move forward as soon as possible with the dredging of the access channel to the port of Montevideo, in a bilateral meeting in Asuncion, on the sides of a Mercosur gathering.
Desde el ppio de nuestro gobierno hemos impulsado el dragado a 14 metros del canal de acceso al puerto de Mvdeo. Hoy finalmente podemos avanzar. Quiero reconocer el gran trabajo de nuestro equipo técnico y la buena voluntad del presidente @JMilei y @DianaMondino— Luis Lacalle Pou (@LuisLacallePou) January 31, 2024
It is a great opportunity to continue developing a port system, as a regional logistic pole, and gateway for products from a wide region of the Rio de la Plata basin, Paganini underlined.
I believe that what is quite noticeable is the change of mood of the Argentine government regarding these issues, and this change of vision, which I emphasize, that when one part progresses, the whole region progresses, therefore, we can look at this with a logic of a big field, of being partners, rather than competitors or rivals, he added.
The process now only leads to a formalization in the [River Plate Administrative Commission] CARP plenary; then, Uruguay is authorized to make the corresponding bids and start developing the work, he went on. CARP gave its nod on Wednesday.
CARP head Alem García explained that the task would be undertaken with our own dredges or those of the National Ports Administration (ANP). Works will get underway as soon as the ANP decides so, García also pointed out. With these improvements, the latest generation mega-containers will be admitted into Montevideo.
In the meantime, technical teams from both Argentina and Uruguay started outlining a common agenda for the near future, it was reported.
According to various Argentine outlets, South America's second-largest country risks becoming increasingly dependent on a foreign port for its agriculture exports.