Mercosur and the EU exchange offers within FTA negotiations

Brazilian influential financial daily Valor Economico reports that EU and Mercosur are meeting today in Brussels to compare their offers for a free trade agreement. According to the newspaper, they will not exchange precise figures for liberalisation, but only a general indication of what is being prepared by each partner. Negotiations involve removing or reducing barriers for agricultural and industrial goods, opening markets for services, investments, government procurement and regulation. So far Argentina has allowed Mercosur’s offer to liberalize 87% of the trade flow with the EU, but Brazil, Uruguai and Paraguai are trying to cut tariffs for 90% of products. If at the end of today’s meeting, Mercosur and EU reach the conclusion that ambition on both sides is levelled, a date for an exchange of offers will be set and then the final phase of negotiations could start, it adds.

The newspaper says that among the private sector in Europe there is a great will for negotiations to go forward. It quotes the president of EUBrasil, Luigi Gambardella as saying: “There is high expectations and we hope that now it is really the right time to take the agreement to a conclusion, because both side can only gain with that”. Valor mentions that EUBrasil board was also meeting today and would discuss the agreement.

Source: Valor Econômico