Mercosur must discipline and return to its origin as a customs union since it has become a 'straitjacket' for negotiations with other regional blocks, according to Lia Valls, foreign trade coordinator at the Brazilian Economics Institute belonging to the prestigious thinktank Getulio Vargas foundation.
Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Luis Almagro highlighted that Mercosur is the “main buyer” of Uruguayan exports and strongly defended the country's presence in the regional group, a controversial issue since much of the country's political system and most of the business community want a more dynamic, open trade block.
Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance explored this week in Chile the possibilities of a gradual, and flexible, integration but left aside all possibility of a near future agreement on tariffs.
The Pacific Alliance (PA) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) combined represent more than 80% of regional foreign trade as well as population, and more than 90% of GDP and direct foreign investment flows, according to a new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance are not contradictory competing blocks, and can advance towards a mutually beneficial convergence, said Chile's Economy minister Luis Felipe Cespedes during a trade and investment promotion seminar in Brazil.
Mercosur and Pacific Alliance foreign affairs ministers met this weekend in Colombia for a first round of talks on integration mechanisms and the potential for specific alliances. The idea of the meeting was first launched by Chile with the purpose of a 'convergence' of interests and a possible future integration.
The Pacific Alliance and Mercosur will be holding a two-day ministerial informative meeting in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, beginning this Friday, a first approach to a possible convergence of the two groupings, according to official releases.
The World Bank's Doing Business global rating is not very enthusiastic about Latin American and the Caribbean which only first surfaces in position 34 out of the 189 countries considered.
Pacific Alliance and Mercosur country members will be holding a meeting in Colombia “to plan the productive future of Latin America with a shared vision” announced Mexico's minister of economy Ildefonso Guajardo.
Brazilian presidential opposition candidate Aecio Neves insisted that if elected he will review Mercosur rules and make them more flexible so that the country can reach bilateral agreements with third parties and not limited by the consensus clause of the trade block. He also mentioned the Pacific Alliance as a pragmatic integration reference.