Uruguay and Brazil could be prepared to go ahead with a 'two speed' trade negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union if the Argentine tariff proposal is not as ambitious as that from the rest of its members, according to Uruguayan diplomatic sources.
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.
Mercosur through its pro-tempore presidency under Venezuela is involved in a round of contacts to agree on the group's much delayed XLVI summit which has been postponed because of problems with 'presidents' agenda', revealed Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga.
Mercosur president’s summit was suspended on Thursday for the third time, due to agenda incompatibilities, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga confirmed in Asunción. Earlier in the day, Loizaga met with Brazilian Foreign minister Luiz Alberto Figuereido. The meeting was going to take place in Caracas, on January 31.
Paraguay's Foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said on Monday that at the latest in early February Mercosur and the European Union would be exchanging their tariff reduction proposals for the much delayed free trade agreement. The deadline originally was December but it was delayed on request from Brussels.
One of Paraguay's priorities is to make the country the world's fifth exporter of beef by 2018, according to Industry and Trade minister Gustavo Leite. The land locked member of Mercosur currently holds the eighth position.
The Economist has dedicated an article to the recently inaugurated Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes, and his attempts to improve the living conditions of the majority of a population which is poor in a country rich in agriculture and energy.
Paraguay is waiting for the formality of a Wednesday vote in the Lower House floor to acknowledge the controversial incorporation of Venezuela as full member of Mercosur, putting an end to an 18 months political and diplomatic rift in the block. The Deputies' Constitution Affairs and Foreign Affairs committees on Tuesday afternoon approved Venezuela's Mercosur incorporation protocol, which means all is ready for the full house expected positive vote.
The Paraguayan Senate finally passed on Tuesday afternoon, with a large majority a protocol for including Venezuela as full member of Mercosur. The protocol, which was submitted to Congress by President Horacio Cartes, was supported 29-10.
EU/US/UK ambassadors openly support Paraguayan prosecutors investigating corruption and abuse in Congress
The United States, European Union and UK ambassadors in Asuncion openly expressed their support for Paraguay prosecutors that have been threatened by members of Congress because they insist in investigating lawmakers that are allegedly involved in corruption cases.