Mercosur is ready to deliver its proposal on goods, services and tariff reductions as part of the negotiations with the European Union for a trade and cooperation agreement, said Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday, following a meeting in Brussels with Charles Michel, Belgium's Prime minister.
“I told the Prime minister that Brazil and Mercosur are ready to present their trade proposal to the European Union in the coming days or weeks” underlined Rousseff who is in Brussels for the two-day meeting of heads of state and heads of government summit between the European Union (28 countries) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Celac (33).
Mercosur and the EU have been negotiating an encompassing cooperation and trade agreement for over a decade and following the recent resumption of talks have agreed that this year they must exchange proposals on goods and services to be included in the accord.
”Hopefully this way, (delivery of the Mercosur proposal) the issue can evolve positively for the EU and its interests“ added the Brazilian president. Before leaving Brazil Rousseff said that the Celac/EU summit was a good opportunity for Brazil and Mercosur to insist on the trade accord with the EU.
In recent months Brazil has joined Uruguay and Paraguay's long standing demands to make Mercosur more flexible, leaving aside the limits imposed by the block in trade talks with third countries, which demands joint negotiations and consensus. But so far Argentina has been the most reluctant member is agreeing with the EU, and insists in the consensus clause.
At the end of the meeting with Belgium's PM Rousseff said that ”we exchanged ideas about what the world is going through, about the end of the commodities boom and the need to expand economic cooperation, international trade and investments“.
Likewise the two leaders discussed Belgian corporations' interest in Brazil's ambitious 64bn dollar infrastructure program to prop private investments and help the country address its huge economic difficulties. Brazil is forecasted to contract 1.2% in 2015, following several years of very poor economic performance.
The 64bn program is geared to improve and modernize Brazil's roads, railways, airports, ports and is based on private participation on the basis of concessions.
”Belgian corporations have a great experience in fields such as ports and infrastructure overall, and for Brazil it's very important that that this experience and relation is expanded”, concluded Rousseff.