Mercosur signs new agreements during summit

Paraguay has taken Brazil's place in the trade bloc's rotating pro

Published in 22/12/2017 - 15:47 By Yara Aquino and Débora Brito report from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brasília - O Presidente Michel Temer durante a 51 Cúpula de Chefes de Estado do Mercosul e Estados Associados, no Palácio Itamaraty (Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil)

The countries signed deals in  consumer rights and governmental purchases, including a deal that allows standards for consumer rights to be shared among the country members.Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

President Michel Temer passed the rotating pro tempore chair of Mercosur on to Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes at the end of the 51st Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associate States on Thursday (Dec. 21). During the meeting, the countries signed deals in such fields as consumer rights and governmental purchases.

Among the agreements is a deal that allows standards for consumer rights to be shared among the bloc's country members.

This year the bloc is reported to have eliminated 67 from a list with 78 identified commercial obstacles, which accounts for over 85% of success in talks on this agenda. Strides were also made in the harmonization of technical norms for goods traded in the region.

Also signed was the Protocol on Public Contracts and Facilitated Investment. The move marks the first time Mercosur finalized negotiations on free governmental purchases between the countries. The deal includes the extended preference given to Brazilian products sold to other Mercosur suppliers.

According to the Planning Ministry, the pact removes barriers to the participation of foreign companies in bidding processes. The goal is to give foreign suppliers national treatment in state-made purchases of over $15 thousand for goods and services and approximately $6 million for construction projects.

The Brazilian government expects the agreement to boost competitiveness and impact the price of goods, services, and construction projects. To be validated, international deals must by submitted to Congress approval.

In attendance were Argentina's President Maurício Macri, Uruguay's Tabaré Vázquez, Paraguay's Horacio Cartes, Bolivia's Evo Morales, and Guyana's David Arthur Granger—not to mention Brazil's Michel Temer. Representatives from Suriname, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Egypt were also present.

Mercosur is formed by Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. Associate states include Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname. Bolivia is in the process of becoming a member, and Venezuela has been suspended.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Mercosur signs new agreements during summit

Edition: Amanda Cieglinski / Nira Foster

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