Delegates at the ceremony (Source: VNA)

Buenos Aires (VNA)
– A research centre has been established under the Catholic University of Uruguay on August 10 to facilitate and promote trade exchange between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

The inauguration ceremony, held in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo was attended by host Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay Nguyen Dinh Thao, and Indonesian Ambassador Max Pangemanan.

The Mercosur – ASEAN Research Centre is expected to facilitate south American investors and enterprises in southeast Asia, the host minister said.

ASEAN is one of the world’s key markets, especially with the birth of the ASEAN Economic Community on December 31, 2015, he commented.

The bloc has a population of nearly 630 million people, with GDP estimated at over 2.6 trillion USD, accounting for 7 percent of the global figure, he said.

The Minister said that Uruguay will promote cooperation within Mercosur and ASEAN.

He will lead a business delegation to several ASEAN nations in November, he added.

The Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce was also launched in Montevideo in June 2015.

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Uruguay was 124 million USD in 2014, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at 41 million USD.
Delegates at the ceremony (Source: VNA)

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

Mercosur is currently the world’s fifth economic group with over 275 million consumers and a GDP of 3.3 trillion USD, representing 83 percent of total GDP in South America. The bloc’s internal trade reaches 62 billion USD annually.

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