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Monday, 13 September 2010

Commissioner Karel De Gucht to discuss EU-Mercosur trade negotiations

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will make a key visit to Brazil, which currently holds the presidency of Mercosur, and Argentina on 13-16 September. The Commissioner will explore with his counterparts how to advance the ongoing EU-Mercosur trade negotiations and how to seize the potential export opportunities in these markets."Given Mercosur's economic growth, I see important opportunities for EU exporters, investors and service providers in this region in the coming years." said Commissioner De Gucht. "A balanced and ambitious free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur could therefore bring substantial economic benefits to both sides and contribute to the economic recovery."The Commissioner will meet high-level political representatives in Brazil on 14 September, notably Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Trade Minister Miguel Jorge. During his visit to Argentina on 15 September, the Commissioner will meet with the Chancellor Hector Timerman and with Industry Minister Deborah Giorgi. In both countries, the Commissioner will address the ongoing negotiating process between the EU and Mercosur as well as key bilateral trade issues. The Commissioner will also meet with business leaders and European industry representatives.

Background

The EU began free trade negotiations with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) in 1995. There were suspended without agreement in 2004. The European Commission decided to relaunch the negotiations with Mercosur in May 2010. This was endorsed by the EU-Mercosur Summit in May. Since then, one negotiating round took place in Buenos Aires in June 2010. The next round will take place in October 2010 in Brussels.

Source: European Commission

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