China seeks free trade deal with Mercosur
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China is interested in sealing a free trade agreement with the South American regional trade bloc Mercosur.
“We share ample common interests and we have great potential,” Wen said in Buenos Aires on Monday, while standing next to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in a videoconference that included the presidents of Brazil and Uruguay, AP reported.
In the videoconference, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said strengthening relations between Chian and Mercosur could become a “strategy to keep the crisis contagion from reaching our markets and provoking unwanted consequences in employment and income that would hurt economic growth.”
In a meeting with the Argentine president, the Chinese premier signed deals on nuclear energy and the export of Argentine agricultural products.
Fernandez called the expansion of ties between China and Mercosur “a historic opportunity to add value to our raw materials and create jobs.”
The Mercosur bloc also includes Paraguay, which does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing because it recognizes Taiwan, which China, Mercosur’s second-biggest trade partner, considers a renegade province.
- Paraguay faces expulsion from Mercosur/Unasur, economic isolation (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Mercosur Bars New Paraguay Leader from Summit (voanews.com)
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