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Foto oficial da 54ª Cúpula de Chefes de Estado do Mercosul, em Santa Fé, na Argentina. Alan Santos/PR

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Bolsonaro vows to work to modernize Mercosur

The president spoke during the meeting with bloc leaders

Published in 17/07/2019 - 17:48

By Ana Cristina Campos Brasília

In his address at the 54th summit of Mercosur heads of state, held in Santa Fe, Argentina, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he will work to speed up the modernization of the South American bloc. During the assembly, Brazil will assume the group’s pro tempore presidency for a six-month mandate.

“I want to seize this opportunity to make the commitment to modernizing and opening our bloc, turning it into a tool for trade with the world, without the ideological bias I criticized so severely as a congressman. We have overcome this barrier, and the conclusion of a free-trade deal with the European Union comes as the concrete result of this new orientation,” he declared.

After the pact with the European Union was approved, Bolsonaro said Mercosur intends to conclude talks with the European Free Trade Association and make progress in negotiations with Canada, Singapore, and South Korea.

The president highlighted the agreement signed today (17) abolishing international roaming fees among Mercosur nationals. “There’s an improvement Mercosur can bring about for the everyday lives of citizens, eliminating difficulties and bureaucracy.”

Bolsonaro also noted that Brazil will continue the work done by Argentina as the previous head of Mercosur in revising the common external tariff to modernize the bloc’s commercial policy and carry out an institutional overhaul slashing the number of agencies in the group. “If we want to continue reaping the fruits, we must work for a streamlined and dynamic Mercosur,” he argued.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nira Foster

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