On January 25th, the President of Uruguay, Lacalle Pou, met with the President of Brazil, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, at the Presidential Palace to discuss trade and the reform of Mercosur, among other issues. President Pou emphasized the need for Uruguay to open up to the world and the importance of this affecting the whole of Mercosur. In this context, he stated that Uruguay is "moving forward with negotiations" and that this should not be an obstacle for other Mercosur member countries to be informed about the contents of these negotiations. He also announced the establishment of a working group composed of representatives from both countries, inviting experts from other Mercosur member countries such as Argentina and Paraguay, to discuss "what is really needed in the relationship with China." According to local newspaper TN, the working group will discuss a Mercosur-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and President Lula has expressed a preference to prioritize the Mercosur-EU FTA, which has been agreed upon politically since 2019 but has not yet been signed.
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