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Montevideo, June 1st 2023 - 06:43 UTC



Mercosur ambitious 2005 agenda

Wednesday, December 22nd 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Mercosur plans next year to advance current trade negotiations with India, China, and South Africa as well as begin talks with Egypt, Morocco and Canada, Brazilian Ambassador Regis Arslanian is quoted in an interview with the newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Head of the International Negotiations Department from the Brazilian Foreign Affairs ministry, Mr. Arslanian said the agenda also includes contacts with the Community of Portuguese speaking countries, CPLP.

India and the Customs Union of Austral Africa figure among the priorities of Mercosur particularly since these negotiations are "quite advanced".

Regarding Canada, Mr. Arslanian indicated that talks will target a free trade area, in anticipation of the United States sponsored Free Trade Association of the Americas, FTAA, stalled negotiations which are scheduled to resume sometime in the first half of next year.

Brazil and United States who co-chair the FTAA talks have resumed contacts to iron out a road map.

With northern African countries Egypt and Morocco, Ambassador Arslanian said Mercosur expects in 2005 to reach a preference tariffs agreement covering a significant portion of bilateral exchange, opening the way for further negotiations.

Last November Chinese president Hu Jintao visited Brazil and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva administration extended the "market economy" status to Beijing that promised significant investments as well as closer and sustained trade links.

South Korean president was also in Brazil last November and expressed its wish to establish a trade agreement with Mercosur. South Korea already has a bilateral free trade agreement with Chile.

However possibly the greatest challenge for Mercosur in 2005 is the resumption of cooperation and trade negotiations with the European Union, which did not crystallize in spite of the agreed deadline of October 31, 2004.

Mercosur pretends greater access to EU agriculture markets and the EU equal conditions for its companies in government purchases, services and several industrial sectors.

Categories: Mercosur.

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