Mercosur agrees to give intra-trade a new boost eliminating barriers

Mercosur agreed at the Brasilia summit that in the second half of the year they will address alternatives for the elimination of tariff and other similar barriers that impede the natural flow of trade of goods and services among its members. The initiative was agreed by Common Market Council, CMC, on the first day of deliberations and confirmed on Friday by the presidents of the group's full members.

The initiative for the elimination of these barriers which was presented by junior members Paraguay and Uruguay, is to be implemented during the six-month Mercosur pro tempore presidency of Paraguay, and hopefully in the following first half of 2016, when Uruguay is scheduled to take the chair.

Eladio Loizaga from Paraguay and Rodolfo Nin Novoa from Uruguay had anticipated their position previous to the summit, allegedly with the blessing of Brazil which is facing a significant slowdown of its economy, and is intent in promoting trade among Mercosur members and with third parties.

Most probably the initiative could need another presidential summit to work out details probably during the month of August, according to Paraguayan sources.

The CMC also agreed to renew for another ten years the Structural Convergence Fund (FOCEM) which helps to finance infrastructure projects of the group's members. Contributions to FOCEM, which currently holds approximately 100 million dollars in funds will remain at current percentages: Brazil 70%; Argentina, 27%, Uruguay, 2% and Paraguay, 1%.

These initiatives as well as formalizing the incorporation of Bolivia as Mercosur's sixth full member, pending on the protocol's legislative approval from Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, and passing on the group's presidency from Brazil to Paraguay, were also among the main issues considered at the Brasilia summit.

Presidents from Brazil, Dilma Rousseff; Argentina, Cristina Fernandez; Tabare Vazquez, Uruguay; Horacio Cartes, Paraguay and Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela, supported and confirmed the initiatives.

Merco Press

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