Mercosur is the most isolated and protectionist block in the world, said Argentine president Mauricio Macri on Thursday during a meeting with Argentine media, in Brasilia, in the framework of the current presidential summit during which the six-month rotating chair of the group will passed from Brazil to Paraguay.
Macri added that the decades long protectionist attitude of Mercosur only helped to deepen poverty in our countries, and it's time to leave behind the insular outlook and target full integration to the global world, underlining that the imminent accord with the European Union is a good bridge to advance in that approach.
The Argentine president said what is at stake in the relation with Mercosur is modernity, and to reach the objective we need a century XXI Mercosur, a global vanguard integration, in which our decisions take into account real changes in the region and the world. And above all we need a renewed vision of regionalism which avoids ill spending time and efforts in regional cooperation scenarios that have lost all validity.
Macri insisted that the current accord with the European Union scheduled for the first half of 2018, is a historic opportunity and we need that commitment because Mercosur is in deep need of infrastructure, communication networks, better and simpler customs procedure, since growing domestically can help grow overseas and integrate to the world.
In its beginnings, Mercosur had a domestic project shared with the partners and an overseas project, but these two dimensions did not always move together or at the same speed. We are convinced that signing deals such as that with the European Union we will strengthen Mercosur and its own integration, indicated Macri, who also slammed critics of globalization. It's not if globalization is good or bad, rather what type of globalization we want and/or need.
Macri also said that Mercosur/Pacific Alliance discussions are advancing in specific areas, and anticipated that both regions are destined to be one of the great dynamic growth poles of the world. The Alliance includes Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
Finally on the Argentine presidency of G20, scheduled to hold its summit of world leaders at the end of 2018, Macri described it as an excellent chance to give a vision from the South, since the forum will be the expression of a region and not only of a single country.