Central America - Mercosur FTA: Will It Be Done?

The possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement with the trade bloc of South American countries is back on the discussion.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The issue will be discussed in detail at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Economy of the region (Comieco), to be held in El Salvador on December 5 and 6.

Acisclo Valladares Urruela, Minister of Economy of Guatemala, confirmed to Prensalibre.com that "... there is proximity and negotiations with Mercosur, and during this day it will be discussed deeply. Up to now there is nothing concrete, but Guatemala's position in its foreign trade policy is to open negotiations, in search of new markets."

Amador Carballido, general director of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), explained that "... to speak of Mercosur is to speak of giant markets such as Argentina and Brazil, in which there is a potential for goods and services produced in Central America. We definitely have to work with Mercosur, it is an area in which there are opportunities for Guatemalan and Central American businessmen who are interested in doing business."

Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay are the countries that make up the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). Bolivia is in the process of accession.

This is not the first time that the issue has occupied the attention of the region, since in 2013 CentralAmericaData reported that Luis Almagro, Uruguayan Foreign Minister at the time, made a tour of the region, in which he proposed to the local authorities to initiate meetings to negotiate an FTA between Central America and Mercosur.

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