The Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cai Wei, arrived at its headquarters, located in Montevideo, in the afternoon to meet with the Secretary General of the organization, Sergio Abreu.
“The delegation that visited us wants to know how trade works here, what its instruments are, how treaties are registered in Aladi, how some aspects of the most favored nation clause are technically applied, which is a matter of trade rules. international”.
This was explained by Abreu during an interview he gave to Agencia Efe minutes after the meeting ended, which lasted a while longer than originally planned.
CHINA, THE MAIN TRADING PARTNER
Abreu stressed that the Asian giant is the main trading partner of several countries in the region such as Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay, adding that when one looks at the percentage of exports from the agricultural chain, these “generally go to the Chinese market.”
According to the foreign trade report issued by the Agency for the Promotion of Investments, Exports and Country Image, Uruguay XXI, in 2021 foreign sales of the South American country totaled 11,549 million dollars, indicating a growth of 43% compared to the 2020 record.
“In 2021, the increase in exports occurred in a context of rising prices of commodities (raw materials), which are highly demanded by China,” the report underlines.
In that year, exports to the Asian country reached 3,277 million dollars, 28% of the total exported by Uruguay. Some of the goods that went there are beef, cellulose and soybeans.
Abreu stressed that in this region of the world “is what is strategically related to the well-being” of “at least an important percentage” of the population that China has and once again highlighted the importance of trade for Latin America.
He said that this is the “most unequal region on the planet” and that at this time it is necessary to recover small and medium-sized companies, indigenous communities and women entrepreneurs who were affected by the job losses caused by the pandemic. .
In that sense, he stated: “How do you solve this? With trade. With trade there will be employment and with employment there will be social peace”
CHINA AND URUGUAY GET CLOSER
Before the meeting at Aladi, Cai Wei met at the Executive Tower in Montevideo with the Foreign Minister of Uruguay, Francisco Bustillo; with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche; and with the Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado.
After that meeting, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the South American country said that both nations are working to specify a schedule that allows them to advance in an FTA.
Asked about the possibility that all the Mercosur countries advance together with the Asian giant, the foreign minister said that his country will continue negotiating as the president, Luis Lacalle Pou, has already announced on several occasions.
“We are taking steps in this direction, without prejudice to which we hope and predict that at some point the rest of the Mercosur partner member countries will join in these negotiations,” he stressed.
On July 13, Lacalle Pou announced that Uruguay and China would begin negotiations to sign an FTA after the “positive” completion of the feasibility study being carried out by both nations.
Days later, during the Mercosur Summit, he stressed that his country would advance in the negotiation and warned his Mercosur partners that the idea is to “go together.”
“This is not an initiative of this government, it is an initiative of two or three governments backwards. To be clear, this is a national feeling, it is not a feeling of a government coalition, move in this direction and, if we can with the partners, the better, “said the president.
And he added: “For this reason, once this stage is over, we will speak with the partners and invite them to join us in being a block with more negotiating power. But, if not, Uruguay will advance”.
The entrance China advances with Uruguay and internalizes itself in Latin America was first published in diary TODAY.