Brazilian, Argentine presidents look forward to Mercosur-EU free trade agreement

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/7 14:07:00

Visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri on Thursday expressed confidence about the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) signing a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU).

"We are witnessing the imminent signing of an agreement between Mercosur and the EU," said Bolsonaro during a press conference with Macri at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires.

"All of us shall be victorious, Brazil and Argentina and the other countries of this bloc (Uruguay and Paraguay)," said Bolsonaro.

Echoing Bolsonaro, Macri said that Mercosur are "very close to an agreement with the EU."

"Mercosur will turn 30 soon. In those 30 years the world changed, it is no longer the same, and clearly the initial vision with which Mercosur was founded has to be changed today," he said.

"It's not only about integrating our markets and benefiting from that integration, it is also about that integration being focused on how we include ourselves, in how we insert ourselves in the global development, which is fundamental for our countries' future," Macri added.

"We are very close to an agreement with the European Union and with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), with Canada, with the Republic of Korea," he said.

"They are great opportunities in this road towards global integration that will provide our industrial and agricultural sectors with a different dynamism," Macri said, voicing his belief that the agricultural sector has a great potential and it will also have a great future growth.

The negotiations between Mercosur and the EU began in the mid-1990s but were interrupted between 2004 and 2010 by the resistance of both sides to make concessions.

After the resumption of the negotiations in 2012, they re-entered an "impasse" at the beginning of 2014 but gained new momentum in 2017.


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