48th Mercosur Summit Begins in Brasilia

July 17, 2015

mercosur1The 48th Summit of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) began today in this capital with the presence of the presidents of the member nations of this block and associated states.

After the official welcoming to the presidents of Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina and Paraguay in the Itamaraty Palace by Brazilian head of State, Dilma Rousseff, the leaders met behind closed doors to discuss issues of productive integration, trade promotion and investment attraction as well as the small and medium enterprises.

Shortly after this meeting representatives of the associated member nations (Guyana, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Suriname and Colombia) will join the heads of state.

According to the official agenda, leaders are expected to sign a protocol of accession of Bolivia to Mercosur, which was ratified by the Argentine, Venezuelan and Uruguayan parliaments and remains to be endorsed by Brazil and Paraguay.

It also provides that the dignitaries to review a proposal to be presented in the European Union (EU) in the last quarter of this year looking to initiate negotiations on a free trade agreement between these two blocks.

In the summit Paraguay will assume the rotating presidency of the sub regional partnership after three years, for in July 2012 was suspended due to the parliamentary removal of president Fernando Lugo. This country rejoined the block in August 2013, with the rise to power of Cartes.

Prior to this appointment there was a meeting of the Mercosur Council, attended by foreign ministers of the member countries of the block, plus the associated countries.

Technical aspects were reviewed and it was agreed to examine in the next six months the tariff barriers that prevent the free movement of goods between their territories.

After the end of the afternoon meeting, presidents from Brazil and Argentina will hold a private meeting to discuss bilateral issues. Created in 1991, this block is a common space that seeks competitive integration of national economies in order to generate trade and investment opportunities.

Source: Prensa Latina