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Delegates from Japan and Mercosur, the South American common market that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, agreed Oct. 14 to promote further economic cooperation as they recognized the potential to further develop trade and investment between the two regions.”The Mercosur side remarked on the importance of economic cooperation and common interest,” read a statement released after a high-level Japan-Mercosur meeting. “The Japanese side expressed its readiness for a joint working-level meeting with Mercosur for the purpose of facilitating such a process of cooperation.”Ongoing improvements in Mercosur nations such as structural reforms, innovative infrastructure projects and privatization of national enterprises “could provide various investment opportunities for the Japanese private sector,” the statement said. Koichi Haraguchi, deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs, headed the Japanese side, and Uruguay Foreign Minister Alvaro Ramos led the Mercosur team during the meeting, which was held Oct. 13 and Oct. 14.It was the second time that the two sides met to exchange views; the first meeting was held last October in Sao Paulo. The Mercosur side explained measures being taken to invite foreign investment, and the two sides exchanged views of economic relations between Japan and Mercosur, the statement said.The two sides said that deepening dialogues between their private sectors is becoming increasingly important to provide Japanese potential investors with practical information concerning foreign investment in Mercosur nations. The sides will hold a third meeting within a year in a Mercosur member state.

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