The president of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, called on Friday for concluding negotiations and finalizing a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The much delayed Mercosur summit will finally take place at the end of the month in Caracas, according to sources from Paraguay and Venezuela. During the last OAS meeting, Venezuelan Foreign minister Elias Jaua confirmed to his Paraguay peer Eladio Loizaga that the date is 29 July and that the consultation process has been completed.
Mercosur leaders called for dialogue with the Pacific Alliance over its perception that Mercosur is becoming an obstacle to integration and wider growth in the region. Uruguayan Vice-President Danilo Astori seemingly sparked the debate a few weeks ago when he said that “Mercosur mustn’t be a terminal station,” calling for formal trade deals with the Pacific Alliance.
Uruguay promulgated the bill which incorporates Bolivia as the latest member of Mercosur, the South American group made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. The incorporation of Bolivia should help with the consolidation of a Mercosur Atlantic-Pacific corridor across South America.
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich praised the “clear, categorical and broad” support for Argentina’s stance in its dispute with speculative funds' holdouts from 133 countries from the UN system and specialized international media, and also confirmed that next month it will make the first payment of the agreement reached with the Paris Club.
Mercosur and Celac country-members expressed support for Argentina and its ongoing litigation with the holdout hedge funds, particularly last week's decision from the US Supreme Court, (which refused to consider the case), and the financial consequences emerging from such a position.
Argentina and Brazil have again clashed not over football but over trade and Mercosur according to the Sao Paulo media. Brazil believes there is a lack of ambition from Argentina to finish polishing the proposal to be exchanged with the European Union for a much delayed cooperation and trade agreement.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Friday proposed a September gathering between officials and business leaders from Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance in hopes of creating a tie-up between the two Latin American trade groups.
The Pacific Alliance will try to 'expand its influence' through agreements with other blocks to improve cooperation in different fields while targeting a wider integration in the region, said Mexico's Economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo. The Alliance is holding its summit this week in Punta Mita, Mexico when the chair of the group will pass from Colombia on to Mexico.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured Brazil on Sunday that she will do her utmost to bring to successful end negotiations for a cooperation and free trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur.