Brazilian president DIlma Rousseff said that with the incorporation of Venezuela, Mercosur has become a global power in food and energy and becomes the fifth world economy with a GDP of 3.3tn dollars.
President Rousseff made the official presentation of her counterpart Hugo Chavez at the Tuesday Mercosur inclusion ceremony since Brazil currently holds the rotating chair of the block. Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez and Uruguay’s Jose Mujica were also present.
“I extend a most warm welcome to Mercosur, to all the people of Venezuela”, said Rousseff adding that it was a real honour to be heading a meeting of Mercosur leaders in such a historic moment that now has Venezuela as the fifth full member.
“Mercosur now extends from Patagonia to the Caribbean and is ratified as a world power in the production of such strategic areas as food and energy and also becomes the world’s fifth economy” with a GDP of 3.3 trillion dollars.
Rousseff invited the business leaders from the entire region “to actively participate in this moment” and anticipated that Venezuela in Mercosur opens new spaces for trade, for productive integration and for investments.
“Venezuela has the largest proven reserves of oil in the world, but needs to advance in the industrialization of the country”, underlined the Brazilian president.
In reference to the fourth Mercosur full member, Paraguay suspended because of recent political events that removed Fernando Lugo from the presidency last June, Rousseff again defended the Mercosur decision adopted by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay which she attributed to “an unequivocal commitment of Mercosur with democracy”
“The prospects are for Paraguay to normalize its domestic situation and to recover all its rights as full member in Mercosur”, added the Brazilian president. Paraguay was suspended in the last Mercosur summit until the national elections scheduled for April 2013.