The Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce officially opened in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo on June 4 with the aim to promote economic, trade, and investment cooperation between the two blocs.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa appreciated the cooperation opportunities between members of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He noted that the ASEAN, with more than 600 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product (GDP) of some 2.3 trillion USD, is a potential market for exports from Mercosur, especially soybeans, rice and meat.

According to Novoa, the Chamber of Commerce Mercosur-ASEAN – which is headquartered in Montevideo – was created to promote trade relations and investment between the nations of both blocs.

It is responsible for providing information on business opportunities, facilitating the resolution of commercial disputes and working with governments in business delegation exchange, he added

Offices in Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore will be established.

In July, a business delegation from Mercosur will travel to Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore to promote trade and investment cooperation.

Created in 1991, Mercosur is a sub-regional bloc grouping Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay.

Mercosur is currently the fifth world economic power with a GDP of 3.3 trillion USD and representing 83 percent of total GDP in South America.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN, established in 1967, consists of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.-VNA