Mercosur pretends to increase its trade integration with members from the Pacific Alliance, said Brazilian foreign minister Luiz Alberto Figuereido. The top official made the statement this week before the Brazilian Senate foreign affairs committee.
Figuereido said that integration between the two blocks is possible by accelerating the tariffs reduction processes, which Mercosur has already agreed with the four original members of the Pacific Alliance, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
Costa Rica and Panama are in the process of joining the alliance which also counts with over 25 observer countries.
Mercosur members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela have trade agreements with Pacific Alliance members that anticipate a gradual and sustained reduction of tariffs in a wide range of products and services, according to the Brazilian minister.
It's only natural and we have full interest in cooperating and trading with the Pacific Alliance countries. Mercosur will propose a quicker pace in the tariff reductions for our exports to those countries, Figuereido told the Senate committee.
He added that at least with Colombia and Peru, Mercosur has also reduced most of tariffs, but complained that they have not done it at the same rhythm.
Figuereido admitted that tariff reduction conditions were agreed at another time but the current situation makes it evident that the process can and must be faster.
We are interested in quickening the integration process between the two blocks, said the minister when Senators asked him how come Mercosur has virtually no free trade agreements with other countries, while the Pacific alliance is open to the whole world.
We're after that and for that purpose we've talked with our friends in the Pacific Alliance to make it clear that the Mercosur universe is not restrictive or selective and we want full integration with the rest of the countries from the region, and other countries, such as the Europeans, concluded Figuereido.