The Bolivian Senate is expected to vote next month for the full incorporation of the country to Mercosur, thus complying with some of the last steps to join the group made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
According to reports from La Paz, the full house will take a vote on April 2 on the Adhesion Protocol which was sent to the Senate by president Evo Morales last 22 September.
The bill already has the support from the Senate's Foreign Affairs committee and contains thirteen articles enabling Bolivia to adhere to the Treaty of Asunción; the Ouro Preto protocol and the Olivos protocol for the solution of Mercosur controversies.
Among other issues the adhesion protocol means tariff rules must be adapted to comply with those of the group, and for this there is a time period of four years. Likewise Bolivia must establish instruments that help with the reduction of asymmetries between member states and reciprocal free trade must become effective once the protocol comes into force.
Once the adhesion protocol is formally signed and enforced Bolivia will be part of the Mercosur delegations in negotiations with third countries.