During next week, at the summit to be held in Brazil, the leaders of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) will formalize the long-awaited free trade agreement with Singapore, reached in 2022. In addition, negotiations with the Dominican Republic and El Salvador will be announced, while Talks with the European Union (EU) persist.
The director of Economic Affairs of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, Mauricio Lyrio, pointed out in a press conference that negotiations with the EU continue steadily, with significant progress during the Brazilian presidency of Mercosur. The agreement with Singapore will be signed on December 7, marking a milestone at the meeting of the bloc’s presidents.
Lyrio confirmed that on the same day, the start of negotiations for free trade agreements with the Dominican Republic and El Salvador will be announced. Despite the efforts concentrated on concluding the agreement with the EU, he admitted that some points are still pending, requiring intense work until the deadline of December 7, when Brazil will hand over the semi-annual presidency of Mercosur to Paraguay.
The Paraguayan president, Santiago Peña, has set that day as the limit for negotiations with the EU. If an agreement is not reached, his government will prioritize the search for new agreements with other blocks or countries. Negotiations between the EU and Mercosur, which began in 1999 and reached consensus in 2019, have faced obstacles, especially on environmental issues and public procurement.
The Semiannual Mercosur Summit, which will begin on December 6 with the meeting of Ministers of Economy and Foreign Affairs, will mark the farewell of the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, who will transfer power on December 10 to the winner of the elections, the far-right Javier Milei, who will not be present at the Mercosur summit.
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