SANTIAGO – The presidents of Chile and Argentina pledged their commitment on Tuesday to the physical integration of their two countries and the fusion of the region’s economic blocs: Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance.
After Chilean President Michelle Bachelet met with her Argentine counterpart, Mauricio Macri, she said at their joint press conference that “we discussed different relevant subjects including the environment, infrastructure and trade, and we are very satisfied with our achievements in two fundamental areas, which are the physical integration of our countries and border crossing facilitation.”
For his part, the Argentine president said that both governments have “some very important projects underway,” such as improving infrastructures, enlarging the Los Libertadores border crossing and creating a national park.
Macri arrived Tuesday in Chile to work on finalizing the trade accords between the two countries.
At La Moneda Palace, seat of the Chilean presidency, the two leaders signed a document related to the Aguas Negras tunnel project that will connect Argentina and Chile through the Andes Mountains.
In a statement to the press, about which no questions were accepted, the two presidents noted how promptly a trade liberalization agreement had been signed for the purpose of strengthening economic ties between the two countries, Bachelet said.
The pact aims to promote even more bilateral investment “in ways that stimulate value chains,” she said.
The two heads of state noted the projects they have undertaken to accelerate the fusion of the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, so as to “create greater opportunities to bring more Argentines out of poverty,” Macri said.
The presidents also agreed on the importance of protecting the environment, and spoke of the joint projects being undertaken to protect the Southern Hemisphere seas and to create natural parks “for the conservation of our shared natural treasures,” Bachelet said.
The Argentine president extended an invitation to his Chilean counterpart to attend the next Mercosur presidential summit, an integrated bloc of which Chile is an associate nation, and which will be held next July 21 in Mendoza, Argentina.