Chile will insist at the two-day Pacific Alliance summit which took off on Wednesday in Paracas, Peru, that a convergence with Mercosur is needed to ensure the integration of Latina America, and this is more evident now that both groupings face similar challenges such as falling prices for commodities, normalization of US monetary policy and an international context of slow growth.
The Mercosur Council will establish an action plan at the next Mercosur presidential summit scheduled for 16/17 July in Brasilia, when the group's chair for the next six months will be handed to Paraguay by Brazil. Other issues on the agenda besides making Mercosur more flexible include addressing the 'special regimes' and the 'free trade zones' in the area, revealed Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa.
Mercosur, ports, energy, trade are among the issues in the agenda that Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes will consider with his counterpart Tabare Vazquez when he makes a one day visit on Thursday to Montevideo, according to the Uruguayan ambassador in Asunción Federico Perazza, ahead of the meeting.
The European Union also has difficulties in completing a draft proposal of goods and services to exchange with Mercosur in the search for a long delayed trade agreement between the two blocks, revealed Uruguayan vice-president Raul Sendic during a report to the Senate on his recent 10/11 June trip to Brussels for the Celac/EU summit. However in the third quarter of the year there should be positive news.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff stated on Thursday in Brussels she was not upset by differences with Argentina over the trade agreement Mercosur is to sign with the European Union, despite president Cristina Fernandez administration's cold feet on the issue.
Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman affirmed that a trade deal would not be signed between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) in the second summit of the Community of Latin American States (CELAC) and the European body, which is taking place in the Belgian city of Brussels.
Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez said that Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay are ready to sign the long delayed trade and cooperation agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. Such an agreement has become one of the cornerstones of Vazquez presidency faced with falling exports and limited markets.
A top Brazilian minister said that Mercosur must allow member countries to sign trade agreements with third parties and called for the end to the rule which prevents such initiative. Development, Industry and Trade minister Armando Monteiro Neto made the statement during a competitiveness seminar in Rio do Janeiro a couple of days ahead of a crucial meeting in Brussels between Mercosur representatives and the European Union to address an encompassing free trade agreement.
Paraguay believes in a 'single speed' approach to negotiations for a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, but discussions must be more dynamic and wide ranging, said the country's president Horacio Cartes, currently visiting Spain.
Uruguay's vice-president Raúl Sendic and Foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa will be attending this week's summit of EU and Celac leaders scheduled in Brussels, which will also address in the sidelines, current EU/Mercosur negotiations for a wide ranging trade agreement.