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17 Years After Its Birth Mercosur, in Brazil, Looks for Ways to Integrate

Mercosur building in Asuncion About 200 businessmen, government representatives and groups involved with the Mercosur will meet on December 8 and 9, in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia, to discuss productive integration in the countries of the bloc during the International Seminar for Productive Integration: Routes for the Mercosur.

The objective of the event, promoted by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI), by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) and by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac), is to strengthen productive integration in the Mercosur, considering experiences of other regions.

As preparation for the seminar, public policy makers of the countries of the Mercosur met in October, in Rio de Janeiro, for presentations of experiences of Asia and Europe. Seven researchers were also hired to present studies on the matter, whose results should subsidize the event in Brasí­lia.

The panels of the seminar should cover the forms of activity of the state and of companies in the process of productive integration. The concepts and cases to be presented suggest reflection over this process, its points of leverage, the main problems, forms for financing, the part played by support institutions and the relation of national policies, among others.

The debates of the International Seminar for Productive Integration: Routes for the Mercosur should originate technical publications in 2009. The event is in context with the activities of the current period of completion of the temporary Brazilian presidency of the Mercosur.

Established on March 26, 1991, after the signing of Assuncion Treaty, the Common Market of the South, Mercosur, includes four parties: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (Venezuela is in the incorporation phase). These countries share targets that involve sustainable, economic and social development.

The bloc plans to promote, internally, more and more market access, agility in frontier negotiations, institutional strengthening, investment incentive, production and export, among other targets that result in greater competitiveness.

Theme productive inauguration plays a growing part in the Mercosur agenda. For this reason, at the 35th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Mercosur, which took place in Argentina, in July this year, the Group for Productive Integration of the Mercosur was established.

The group is responsible for coordination of the Mercosur Productive Integration Program and, in Brazil, is coordinated by the ABDI.

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