Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said it was urgent for Mercosur/European Union trade negotiations to conclude although also emphasizing the need to promote and intensive South/South relations, but warning that some outer region countries are intent in “sending us what they can’t sell in developed countries”.
Addressing the 41st Mercosur presidential summit Wednesday in Paraguay, Ms Rousseff underlined the good moment the economies of the four block members are going through (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and urged on her peers the importance of a successful conclusion of trade talks with the EU that have been ongoing for over a decade.
Nevertheless “we must not forget South/South relations and business with African, Arab and Asian nations”.
President Rousseff said that Mercosur has an economic development model “unique” to the world not only in numbers, creating wealth and achievements, “but also preserving our sovereignty and social inclusion, which surprises the rest of the globe”.
Ms Rousseff said that in two decades of existence, inter region trade soared from 5 billion US dollars to 45 billion, “even when we have an imperfect customs union”. She added that democratic stability has been crucial for the development of the region as has been the free circulation of persons, goods and services.
“We have a region free of nuclear arms and free of ethnic conflicts, but we still have to elaborate an effective strategy for social development and to overcome asymmetries between Mercosur members. However we must not forget the Structural Convergence Funds, Focem which has helped the smaller economies (Paraguay and Uruguay)”.
The Brazilian president further on called for greater integration in energy, hydrocarbons, auto industry and said production chains must be coordinated.
As to international challenges, Ms Rousseff stated that the world crisis is not yet over: “the US is growing at a slower rate, the situation in the EU is dramatic and problems in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and even Spain can have strong negative repercussions. Developed countries are probably heading for a W exit of the recession instead of a V as was originally forecasted”.
Finally Ms Rousseff said countries in the region were suffering the “excess liquidity” and inflow of capital from rich nations that comes with inflationary pressures, but “we must always keep in mind that markets must be useful for the enrichment of our peoples”.
And “let us be on the lookout because some outer region partners are trying to sell us those products they can’t sell in the rich countries”.