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Uruguayan delegation begin tour of Germany, Finland and Russia

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Staff Writer | February 8, 2017
Tabare Vazquez
Cooperation talks   A country known for its good soccer

Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez, six cabinet ministers and a numerous business delegation bagin a two weeks official tour of Germany, Finland and Russia.

They want to increase political and trade links, particularly in the “new international scenario” and hopefully advancing in locking the long delayed accord between the European Union and Mercosur.

The first stop is in Germany and a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the most influential European leader.

Merkel anticipated in her Saturday radio message that Berlin is interested in increasing links with Uruguay, “a country known for its good soccer”, but also for its longstanding commitment to democratic values and a pioneer in the region in issues related to gender equality, environment protection and reducing poverty.

But Merkel also underlined that the EU/Mercosur trade accord is a “strategic” priority for Germany and Vazquez' visit takes place just days before another round of negotiations in Brussels and Buenos Aires.

The scenario is encouraging since for the first time in years Mercosur senior members, Brazil and Argentina coincide in economic and political policies, and are determined to open Mercosur to the world and serious partners.

Given that Uruguay desperately needs to improve its infrastructure, logistics, railways and ports, Germany has organized ministerial visits to mechanical equipments centers, the port of Hamburg, sea terminals and shipyards.

Bilateral trade is insignificant in German terms, but Merkel said there was “ample potential to expand”.


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