Brazil Hosts Meeting of Mercosur Ministers to Address Global Crisis

Mercosur meeting The highest political body of the South American customs union, the CNC (Mercosur Council) will be holding an extraordinary meeting next Monday, October 27, in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia to consider the current global financial crisis, it was announced in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay.

The CNC is made up of Foreign Affairs and Finance ministers of Mercosur country members and its meetings are only topped by the presidential summits held every six months when the transfer of the rotating chair of the group occurs.

According to the CNC press release. the meeting will convene ministers from Mercosur full members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and associate members which have been specially invited (Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia) and Venezuela which is in the process of full integration.

Central bank presidents of the above mentioned countries, who recently met in Santiago de Chile, have also been invited to the gathering.

The idea of an extraordinary meeting of the CNC was first proposed by Argentina's Foreign Secretary Jorge Taiana at the beginning of October with the purpose of "discussing the global situation and to consider ways to address the situation."

"It seems obvious that when extraordinary moments such as those we are living happen, we should have an exchange of ideas," said Taiana who added that "I believe we must coordinate positions, exchange information and come up with joint replies to the situation."

The CNC last held a regular meeting in Tucuman, Argentina, last July. However the Brazilian Foreign Office, Itamaraty, downplayed the significance of the event saying it would be the XXXVI ordinary meeting in preparation for the December presidential summit in Salvador, Bahia, next December 16.

Argentina, whose main trade partner is Brazil, is particularly concerned that the Brazilian currency has lost in the range of 30% against the US dollar since the beginning of the crisis at the beginning of the month. Brazilian industry, farmers and exporters have remained explicitly silent about the new rate.

The depreciation of the Argentine peso has been far modest but there are insistent rumors that the US dollar could be costing 3.80 pesos at the end of the year. Currently it is trading at 3.25 pesos to the greenback.

Mercopress

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