Wednesday, July 17th 2013 - 07:50 UTC

Brazil downplays the Pacific Alliance significance, as an “integration project”

Brazilian Foreign minister Antonio Patriota downplayed the significance of the Alliance of the Pacific, the free trade agreement which includes Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, arguing it is not a “real deep integration” as the one proposed by Mercosur.

Patriota says Mercosur is full of ‘life and dynamics’

Speaking with foreign correspondents in Sao Paulo, Patriota said the Pacific Alliance “is an effort which brings together countries with similar characteristics, but not an alliance, or a free trade zone or a customs union, much less an integration project such is the case of Mercosur”.

According to Patriota Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) is ‘full of life and dynamic’ and in 2019 ‘we will have a South American free trade zone, next to other blocks such as the Caribbean Community, Carikcom”.

“When I say that the alliance is marketing or a new package for the same existing produce I’m not trying to downplay, since we are talking of countries that are most important for Brazil. And Brazil hopes and expects that this effort will help make those economies more dynamic and elevate living standards”, underlined the Brazilian minister.

Patriota also talked about Paraguay and president-elect Horacio Cartes assertions rejecting the incorporation of Venezuela as full member of the Mercosur group next to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

“They are statements from an elected president; it’s important to follow and see what he will be saying when in full exercise of office, as of August 15 when he is inaugurated”.

Patriota also underlined the reestablishment of Mercosur relations with Paraguay, suspended since June 2012, which was decided at last week’s summit in Montevideo, and the fact that despite the political sanction, trade continued to flourish and there were no retaliations hurting the Paraguayan people.

Likewise “it was an important gesture” the fact that Mercosur governments acknowledged the victory of Cartes in the April presidential election and that some presidents such as Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff have anticipated she would be travelling to Asuncion for the inauguration on 15 August.

17 comments Feed

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1 Anglotino (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 11:38 am Report abuse
Mercosur has hardly done anything worthwhile in 20 years but this idiot thinks that it is going to accelerate in the next 6?

There is an amazing about of delusion that goes with being a politician in some South American countries.

That must be the condition for being part of Mercosur and not much else.
2 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 12:05 pm Report abuse
We have to economic blocks in Latin America. Mercosur, promoting closed markets, high tariffs and incompetent industries, economic growth based on the ups and downs of prices of commodities and primary products such as soybeans and oil, high inflation, irresponsible and crazy fiscal policies, currency devaluations, demagoguery and populism, and arrogant foreign policies.

And the Pacific Alliace, promoting free trade and opennes to the world, to global supply chains, promoting competitiveness, low or no tariffs, fiscal responsibility and management of economic policies, currency stability, inflation controlled and economic growth based on manufacturing of higher valued products that compete in world markets.
3 manchesterlad (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 12:31 pm Report abuse
Since Mercosur is dead as a trading bloc & has become a political organization for like minded thinkers only, Patriota would be well advised to apply for observer status in the Pacific Alliance before Brazil misses out completely
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
As much as I love 'my' Brasil, Jose, I have to admit you are right - the differences between the two blocs, expressed as success and failure, are just too glaringly obvious to be disregarded.

Mercosur's leaders have so much to be ashamed of .. and Patriota has worked abroad in New York, Washington and Geneva, and can compare Brasil/Mercosur's performance against the best, so his comments about Mercosur being 'full of ‘life and dynamics’' can only be interpreted as delusiory.
5 Baxter (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 12:45 pm Report abuse
2 A first class summary !
6 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 01:28 pm Report abuse
For the hype about “economic policies with social inclusion”, “love for the poor”, etc. The fact remains that none of the mercosur countries has delivered on their promises of prosperity and economic stability, but quite the opposite. Brazil faces a conondrum that none in Dilma´s administration seems to understand, inflationary pressures build up forcing the central bank to lift interest rates while the country´s economy remains stagnant, downward pressures on brazilian Real threaten to bring even more inflation, but the currency is overvalued and is deteriorating industrial output and exports, and all the government spending and huge infrastructure projects and economic and fiscal incentives to prop up economic growth aren´t helping Brazil to grow more than a mere 1 or 2 percent. Credit is exausted.
Then you have Argentina, a crazy horse running wild faster towards a step cliff, Venezuela it´s a crazy and absurd project, Bolivia a real disaster. Uruguay it´s perhaps the only stable economy in the region, and the smallest.
7 Islander1 (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 01:34 pm Report abuse
I have a lot of respect for Brazil as a dynamic forward thinking progressive nation - different to the other one to their south(and am not talking about Uruguay!).
But am thinking that sadly, Brazil looks like it wants to head the same way as that country and Venezuala have done.
8 Conqueror (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 01:53 pm Report abuse
@4 It isn't “delusion”, it's desperation. I reckon that the majority of the world has let mercosur know that its actions against Paraguay are considered illegitimate. Taking various statements, Brazil, in the person of Patriota, is now hoping to climb out of the hole it dug for itself and re-establish its bona-fides. I also reckon that Brazil has left it too late. It got dragged into supporting “rogue” argieland and now finds that there is a price to pay. Who would rate Brazil more trustworthy than argieland now? To be fair, it hasn't yet descended to the level of argieland by stealing anything it fancies. Not quite. Seems Brazil believes in self-determination. except for the Falklanders. Thus Brazil sees no problem with argie imperialist colonialism. Perhaps it fancies some imperialist colonialism of its own! Will it decide to “recover” Uruguay? How about “seizing” Paraguay?
9 Tik Tok (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 02:30 pm Report abuse
Too painful for Brazil's current crop of politicians to change anything, both in terms of admitting that there are better ways to do things and losing face, but also if they leap into change then the economic cost to do so, in which case they might lose their cushy positions. Hence this our way is the right way shit continues. Fair enough be protectionist enclosed within the Mercosur zoo, but I don't think that's a sustainable future for their citizens in the reality of a global world.
10 Sergio Vega (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 03:06 pm Report abuse
2 & 6@ Jose, your brief over the Mercosur/PA and Brazil are quite clear that an infant can understand, except the Mercosur members Gvts. (or they understand but can´t accept the fact that they era by the wrong way....from the beginning of the grouping).
Politics blinds people, sepecially when they are from extremes like all of those countries involved into Mercosur...with the exception of Paraguay which has seen the light when took out Mr. Lugo....
One of the best principles of the PA is that the internal politic policies are not part of it chart, so if the economic conditions are kept the Alliance will be working well and fast as until now.....
The condition of integration in political and social fields between the member has leaded the Mercosur to its own announced death specially for the smaller members dominated by the pressure of the “giant” that are eating them with its failed regressives policies......
Sadly for a walking dead Project killed by the bigger members themselves....
Gladly, the “other” is a healthy running Project which is watched for the remaining progresist (succesful) LA countries and the worl economic comunity.....
Thats makes the difference......a big one...!!!
11 Condorito (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 03:38 pm Report abuse
@Jose: I fully agree with you.

“in 2019 we will have a South American free trade zone”

I hope so and if it has taken the PA's success to kick Brasil in to action, then the PA is much more than you are implying.
12 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 05:01 pm Report abuse

I think it´s about time the bolivarians and social-inclusionist, anti-imperialist demagogues of Latinamerica start showing the results of the policies they have implemented in the past decade and a half. The time for grandiose and eloquent discourse full of good-intentions it´s over, it´s time to see results of these great popular leaders, and the results are there, and Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and to a certain extent Brazil as well, have nothing to show at all. They did not develop vibrant, industrialized societies, but rather commodity dependence economies, subject to the fluctuations of commodity prices in the London and New York stock exchanges.

Chile has been an example to follow for all of Latin America, but populism and economic regression got a hold of their societies. Once I thought Brazil would lead Latinamerica, promoting sound industrial policies, free trade and economic integration based on fairness and equality, democracy and political stability. I though so because the country has everything it takes in terms of both talented people and economic and natural resources. But they did not take the opportunity and responsibility to lead, instead they allowed populist demagogues to run rampaging the region destroying democracy, social, civil and economic freedom and creating a terrible reputation for the whole region in the world, a land of the silly, of demagogues and banana republics, of default and risky business, nationalizations and crony capitalims. The shoes of Brazil are just too big for Lula, Dilma and the PT compadres, Brazil deserves better.
13 Conqueror (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 09:15 pm Report abuse
A very important consideration is that when a “state” “downplays” a rival, it is worried. Brazil is worried. It has screwed up. All being well, Paraguay will meke it pay, and pay, and pay. Time for Brazil to make amends by pissing on argieland? And Venezuela? Do hope so.
14 Anbar (#) Jul 17th, 2013 - 11:41 pm Report abuse
“”“”“”“There is an amazing about of delusion that goes with being a politician in some South American countries.”“”“”“

Yeah.. I am waiting for Argentina to add its name to an extension of the bogota declaration.... ”obviously” space above Argentina MUST be theirs and theirs alone....

15 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 03:20 am Report abuse
13 Conqueror (#)

Could not agree more. Brazil´s worried as you said, but it´s also sad diplomacy when they come out to show it publicly.
16 mat (#) Jul 18th, 2013 - 08:30 pm Report abuse
Brazil is a country in bankruptcy, so every declaration from any of its ministers is due only to the impotence and frustration of the succes of Mexico and its block.
17 GeoffWard2 (#) Jul 19th, 2013 - 10:59 am Report abuse
Mat #16, I think you might be getting your South American countries mixed up.

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