World Bulletin / News Desk
The presidents of Brazil and Argentina -- two South American neighbors with ailing economies -- are set to meet Tuesday in Brasilia for talks expected to focus on reviving the troubled Mercosur trade bloc.
Now they hope to boost trade -- which reached $23 billion in 2015, according to Brazil -- just as the new Trump administration's shift toward more protectionist policies in the United States looks to shake up the region.
"It's a moment when both governments are on the same page on how to organize the economy and on the type of changes needed to return to growth," said Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita, Brazil's diplomat charged with Latin American relations.
One of the top objectives, de Mesquita said, will be discussing "strengthening the economic and commercial aspects of Mercosur," with a removal of protectionist barriers between Brazil and Argentina in particular.
Brazil would also like to give a boost to Mercosur's ambitions of a free trade deal with the European Union and stronger commercial links in Canada, Japan and South Korea, he said.
The bloc, which also includes Paraguay, Uruguay and crisis-hit Venezuela, was founded in 1991. But an initially strong boost to regional trade gradually evaporated as persistent trade barriers weighed the bloc down.
afpGüncelleme Tarihi: 07 Şubat 2017, 09:55