Mercosur to create group on digital economy

TV Jurerê
02:00:PM - 21/Dec/2017
Mercosur to create group on digital economy
arcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Brazil s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes and the other chancellors also talked about a deal with the European Union.

21/12/2017 | 2PM

Mercosur is to create a group to discuss possibilities regarding joint efforts in digital economy and e-commerce. The announcement was made Wednesday (Dec. 20) by the foreign ministers of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay at the Itamaraty Palace, the seat of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.

The decision comes as part of the outcome of a meeting held by Mercosur's Common Market Council, one of the bloc's highest-level groups. The gathering served as preparation for the summit with heads of states, slated to take place today (21), also in Brasília.

The group to be in charge of matters related to the internet, information and communication technology, and e-commerce was dubbed Digital Agenda. Participants must elaborate a work plan with topics, debates, and possible measures by the middle of 2018.

The Common Market Council also considers the possibility of forging a deal on governmental purchases between member countries. The goal is to the set forth common rules on the requirements and proceedings to be adopted by the authorities in the acquisition of goods and services. Rules must also determine which companies may compete and under what conditions.

According to Brazil's Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, in order to reach an agreement, Mercosur leaders still have to tackle certain issues, like the of government of Paraguay, a country organized in a more centralized manner, as opposed to federations like Brazil's and Argentina's.

European Union
Chancellors also talked about a deal with the European Union yet again—the bloc's biggest negotiation with other regions currently in progress. Nunes reported that those in charge of the talks have finalized 90% of proceedings, and a pact is likely to be inked soon.

“Negotiations have been intense over the last month. This is a deal that can have extraordinary significance for the two blocs,” added Argentina's Foreign Ministry Jorge Faurie.

Summit
Mercosur is a bloc formed by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, with Venezuela suspended. Also part of the group as associate states are Bolivia (in the process of gaining full member status), Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, and Suriname.

Expected to take part in the summit Thursday are the presidents of the member countries and that of Guyana. Associate states, like Chile and Colombia, have sent representatives, and Venezuela will not have a delegation.

The meeting marks the end of the pro tempore presidency, occupied since the middle of 2017 by Brazil. Next in the chair is Paraguay.

Font: Agência Brasil