Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, Ambassador Daniel Scioli and Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas Saturday met in Brasilia with Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes to deepen the new economic ties between the two countries
Also present at the meeting was Reinaldo Salgado, Brazil's current ambassador to Buenos Aires.
The encounter took place after several months of tensions between the two countries, which began to ease down following Friday's encounter between Cafiero and his Brazilian colleague Carlos Alberto Franco Franca at the Itaramaty Palace, when a 10% cutdown in Mercosur's Common External Tariffs was agreed, in what was regarded as a good sign of a rapprochement, particularly considering Guedes' harsh stance against Argentine President Alberto Fernández.
During the 45-minute meeting, the supply of Argentine gas from Vaca Muerta through a pipeline was discussed among other bilateral issues and Guedes was said to have highlighted the prior CET agreement.
Mercosur's two largest partners now need to persuade Uruguay and Paraguay to join in on the gradual reduction of the CET as devised by Jorge Neme, Argentina's former International Economic Relations Secretary who became Deputy Cabinet Chief following the latest reshuffle. Brazil had intended the reduction to be drastic - 50%.
Cafiero has been entrusted with rebuilding President Fernández's ties with Mercosur and earlier last week he also met with Uruguayan Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo, whose country has openly announced it would seek one-on-one trade deals with other blocs or countries, regardless of Mercosur's founding Treaty of Asunción forbidding it.