Brazil, Chile advance talks on free-trade agreement

The closer Mercosur–Pacific Alliance ties facilitated the dialog

Published on 24/07/2018 - 19:46 By Paola de Orte - Puerto Vallarta

Brazilian President Michel Temer said today (Jul. 24), in Mexico, that the strides made in the negotiations for a free-trade deal between Brazil and Chile come as a result of closer relations between Mercosur—an economic bloc formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—and the Pacific Alliance—formed by Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia.

Temer described the Tuesday assembly with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera as “one of the first results of this partnership between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur.”

Presidente da República, Michel Temer, durante reunião bilateral com o presidente do Chile, Sebastián Piñera.
Brazilian President Michel Temer during a meeting with Chile's Sebastián Piñera – Cesar Itiberê / President's Office

The talks covered areas beyond economics, as tariffs in trade between the two countries are light as it is. Among the topics discussed are sanitary and phytosanitary measures, service exchange, facilitated trade, and conflict resolution.

Presidents Temer and Piñera are in Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico, where the first Mercosur–Pacific Alliance summit meeting is to take place, where other presidents from Pacific Alliance member states are present: Juan Manuel Santos, of Colombia; Enrique Peña Nieto, of Mexico; and Martín Vizcarra, of Peru. Uruguay’s Tabaré Vázquez, Mercosur’s current pro tempore president, is also in attendance.

The talks aimed at a free-commerce accord between Brazil and Chile kicked off on April 27 this year, when Piñera was in Brazil. The first round of negotiations was held early in June. The next is slated to begin on August 8, in Santiago.

Chile is Brazil’s second biggest commercial partner in South America. Brazil is also Chile’s top partner in the continent, in addition to being the main destination of Chilean investments overseas—$31 billion. In 2017, bilateral trade added up to $8.5 billion, as per figures released by the Brazilian government.

According to online statements by Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, “today, Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance are clearly complementary projects, and the closer ties shared by the two blocs herald a new dynamics pole in the global economy. All together, the two groups account for over 90 percent of the GDP and the direct foreign investment flow, amount to 470 million people—80 percent of the population in Latin America.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Denise Griesinger / Augusto Queiroz

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