MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay is very interested in pursuing freer trade with China, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Luis Cancela, who said trade relations with the Asian giant are of the “utmost importance.”
“Uruguay has a great deal of interest in advancing toward freer trade with China, since that country is Uruguay’s leading trade partner, not only for soy but also meat and other products that enter the Chinese market,” he told reporters Sunday.
Cancela made his remarks during an event led by President Tabare Vazquez to commemorate the 252nd anniversary of the birth of Jose Gervasio Artigas, regarded as the father of Uruguayan nationhood.
He added that during Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa’s recent visit to China the two nations signed five protocols for imports of Uruguayan agricultural products, including corn, barley, blueberries and sorghum.
Cancela also noted that Uruguay would host the 11th China-Latin America Business Summit in October 2017.
“Naturally, we’re competing with other countries that have preferential trade arrangements with China. We have to secure the conditions that allow us to be competitive,” the deputy foreign minister said.
He added in that regard that Mercosur, which is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, “must be more proactive” to achieve trade progress with the Chinese for the benefit of the entire regional bloc.