ASEAN, Mercosur bolster cooperation hinh anh 1Flags of the ASEAN members. (Photo: AFP)

Buenos Aires (VNA) – Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan discussed measures to enhance cooperation between the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Southern Common Market (Mercosur) with his Argentine counterpart Susana Malcorra on April 7.

Malcorra invited Balakrishnan to attend a meeting with his Mercosur counterparts to assess the ASEAN-Mercosur cooperation, said a joint statement of the Argentine Foreign Ministry.

During his visit to Argentina, Minister Balakrishnan also pledged to boost Singapore’s trade and investment with the South American country, as well as support affiliations in education, culture and technical training.

In June 2015, the Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce was launched in Montevideo, Uruguay, followed by the foundation of a research centre two months later. The centre aims to create favourable conditions for promoting trade and economic relations between the two blocs.

Last October, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa led a business delegation of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay to visit Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

Established in 1991, Mercosur currently groups Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay.    

As the fifth largest economic bloc of the world and one of the top manufacturers of food, materials and energy, Mercosur boasts a market of 275 million consumers and 3.3 trillion USD worth of GDP, accounting for 83 percent of the South America’s total. Intra-bloc trade reaches nearly 62 billion USD each year.-VNA