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Montevideo, October 4th 2023 - 14:18 UTC



“Chile's not in a hurry”

Wednesday, July 5th 2000 - 21:00 UTC
Full article

With these simple words Chilean president Ricardo Lagos described his country's tempo for becoming a full member of Mercosur.

"Unless there's a quick tariff convergence, we're not in a hurry, although the political conditions are mature for a full integration", remarked President Lagos during a press conference following the Mercosur presidential summit in Buenos Aires.

Mr. Lagos said Mercosur was not a simple customs union, but a full integration process. However unless there's a convergence of macroeconomic policies, "it's hard to ensure that integration".

"Chile has already done a great sacrifice and has opened its economy, 50% of Chile's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) now depends from overseas", said Mr. Lagos who added that the country will not step back on this effort.

In a direct criticism to Brazil President Lagos stated it was difficult to think in a common currency or Maastricht, when one of Mercosur members devalues its currency 50%.

"We understand circumstances, we only expect the same from other members regarding Chilean circumstances" added Mr. Lagos.

Regarding AFTA, Americas Free Trade Association, Mr. Lagos sounded sceptic, preferring free trade bilateral agreements, "we have them with Mexico, Canada, and we're discussing with Europe and United States".

Categories: Mercosur.

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