An almost “sterile” summit due to the absence of Brazil

For the LX Summit of Mercosur Presidents, which will take place between Wednesday and Thursday in Luque, the participation of presidents Alberto Fernández from Argentina, Luis Lacalle Pou from Uruguay, Luis Arce from Bolivia and Irfaan Ali from Guyana (associated state), in addition to Vice President María Lucía Ramírez of Colombia and Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola of Chile.

In an interview for 730 AM, Foreign Minister Arriola pronounced himself “very optimistic” before the summit because joint communiqués are being negotiated regarding economic and social recovery and food security and sustainable agricultural production.

“We are committed to reaching an agreement between the four States to benefit the competitiveness of our economy for access to inputs and better conditions for all our productive sectors,” he said.

Along the same lines, Arriola added that they would be negotiating a “state-of-the-art free trade” agreement between Mercosur and Singapore. The pact would allow expanding the commercial horizon towards Southeast Asia.

TRADE

WITH CHINESE

One of the fundamental and decisive points of the summit revolves around Uruguay’s interest in autonomously negotiating a free trade agreement with China.

In this sense, the foreign minister analyzed that Paraguay’s position is framed in the need to prioritize an agenda of external negotiations.

“We believe that this gives greater strength and negotiating capacity to the states, for us it is essential to respect the principle of consensus in decision-making,” he concluded.

“STERILE”

Political and economic analyst Víctor Raúl Benítez said that without the presence of Brazil, the meeting can be considered practically sterile.

“The president of Argentina is coming, who has a very worn management. In addition, there will be two small countries that do not have much geopolitical preponderance. It is an almost sterile meeting. We are at the moment when two presidents are leaving. Mario Abdo’s administration ends in a year and Bolsonaro’s at the end of 2022. It is a meeting that, from the sense of opportunity, has little relevance. The main ‘player’ of the integration process, which is Brazil, is not coming”, he indicated.

Along these same lines, the economist added that organizations such as Mercosur function as public limited companies. “If the vote of the strongest, there is no decision that can be made together.”

On the other hand, Benítez stressed that Paraguay must seriously consider starting trade deals with China, which is one of the best international markets to sell local production.

“Soy growers are losing 30 dollars per ton and ranchers 900 dollars per ton. You have to talk to Taiwan, because we must necessarily have relations with China”, he concluded.



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