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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:26, August 14, 2005
Venezuelan president completes Mersour tour with agreements concluded
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday concluded his working visits to three countries of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) aiming at enhancing bilateral relations and promoting Latin American integration.

During the three-day visit to Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, Chavez signed with his counterparts a series of bilateral political and economic agreements.

Under the agreements signed with his Uruguayan counterpart, Tabare Vazquez, Venezuela is to provide low-price crude oil for refining at Uruguayan refineries for 25 years. The processed oil will be used to meet Uruguay's energy needs with the surplus to be exported to South American countries.

Joint exploitation will take place in one of the reserve blocs Venezuela has in the eastern petroleum strip, where there are proven reserves of 300 billion barrels of crude.

In return, Uruguay will export a large amount of agricultural, telecommunications and service products to Venezuela.

Other joint efforts in the program include plans for an alcohol distillation project with Uruguay near its northeastern border with Brazil and a cement plant which will export from Uruguay to Venezuela 10 million US dollars worth of cement annually.

During his visit on Aug. 11 to Argentina, the second leg of the tour, Chavez signed with his colleague Nestor Kirchner a series of agreements worth over 500 million dollars.

Under the agreements, Venezuela would supply 4 million barrels of fuel oil to Argentina. Meanwhile, the latter will construct two tankers at the Rio Santiago-Dianca Shipyard for Venezuelan petroleum transportation firm PDV Marina, which will require an investment of 112 million dollars.

Both sides pledged to improve the good relations between them and implement agreements already signed on bilateral cooperation in such fields as energy, farming and animal husbandry, food and medicine.

In Brazil on Friday, Chavez offered President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a plan of joint exploitation of an oil field on the Orinoco Strip.

Chavez promised that by the end of 2006 the construction of the Venezuelan refining plant in Orinoco Strip could start with the cooperation of Venezuela's state-run petroleum company and its Brazilian counterpart.

Chavez's tour to the three Mercosur countries was also part of his efforts to push forward the integration process in Latin America.

In Uruguay, Chavez and his counterpart, Tabare Vazquez, agreed to strengthen consultation and cooperation to help promote the process of South American integration.

During his visit to Argentina, President Nestor Kirchner and Chavez said in an joint communique that the two countries are to step up efforts to set up regional organizations such as the Southern Bank, a Latin American monetary fund and an American petroleum company, so as to improve the region's economic integration.

Source: Xinhua

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