ASUNCION – The presidents of Argentina and Paraguay, Mauricio Macri and Horacio Cartes, respectively, backed on Thursday greater integration between their two nations via Internet connectivity and increased trade within Mercosur.
Macri arrived on Thursday in Asuncion and was welcomed by Cartes at the South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) headquarters, where the pair participated in the 2nd Binational Meeting, at which ministers and top government officials from along the common border also gave speeches.
At the end of their meeting, the two leaders signed a letter of intent regarding cooperation on immigration issues, along with several bilateral instruments on preventing people trafficking, increasing atomic energy cooperation and strengthening Internet connectivity, among other matters.
Macri emphasized that integration between the two nations, both physical and virtual, will enable progress to be made on reducing poverty, one of the challenges facing both countries.
“We have the central commitment to reduce poverty and generate opportunities for progress for both countries. There is no doubt that, insofar as we connect and integrate ourselves more, (resolving) that challenge will be made more possible over time, encompassing more Argentines and Paraguayans,” the Argentine leader said.
Cartes, meanwhile, referred to Mercosur, saying that the road to regional integration passes through strengthening the bloc, comprised of the two countries along with Brazil and Uruguay.
The 2nd Binational Meeting is part of the mechanism to achieve greater cooperation and understanding among border authorities in the two countries, a framework that emerged starting with Cartes’ official visit to Argentine in September 2013.