Mercosur member Paraguay has a high likelihood of bouncing back best once the novel coronavirus is contained, Rebeca Grynspan, head of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), told Radio Nacional del Paraguay on Thursday.
Uruguayan president Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou and his Argentine peer, Alberto Fernandez held a half-hour video conference Tuesday mid-morning to address the recent decision by the current Argentine administration to freeze Mercosur free trade negotiations with potential new partners and instead concentrate efforts in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and its sanitary, social, economic and employment consequences.
Brazil's giant meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods CEO, Miguel Gularte, said the company has resumed sales of fresh beef to the US following a decision by US authorities to open their market to Brazilian beef. American slaughterhouses have been closing amid coronavirus social distancing rules and this has led to unmet demand within the US.
In the midst of the chaotic situation caused by the pandemic, the Argentine government announced the abandonment of Mercosur negotiations to prioritize the country’s domestic economy and the struggle against the virus. The rest of the bloc members must evaluate legal, institutional, and operational measures emerging from the decision.
The governments of Argentina and Brazil are in talks to release water from the giant Itaipu Dam with a view to topping up the Parana River, where ebbing levels are conspiring against a US$ 20-billion-a-year crop export business.
Below normal rains in the Parana-Paraguay water basin is hampering grain transport through waterways in Argentina as the water level of the river has dropped significantly, Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario, or BCR, said in a report.
The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 35 million emergency loan to support the Argentine government efforts to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system through the procurement of medical supplies and equipment. This financing forms part of a World Bank fast track package of up to US$ 14 billion to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agriculture ministers from various South American countries participated in a video conference on Monday, March 23, to discuss harmonization of standards and ensure the smooth flow of goods and food supplies throughout the region during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The World Bank Board of Directors approved a new US$ 300 million operation to support Argentina’s efforts to strengthen its social protection system and minimize the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable families.
Mercosur country members agreed on Wednesday to share information and statistics on the coronavirus evolution as part of a common strategy destined to combat the pandemic, which included facilitating the return of ex-pats and ensuring the movement of goods among the block.