Arabs and Mercosur Take Step to Free Trade Zone

“Between 2003 and 2004, Brazilian exports for Arab countries increased 47%. This agreement further favors export expansion,” said Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, yesterday, after signing the agreement of economic cooperation between Mercosur and the Gulf Cooperation Council, integrated by Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.

This agreement created a committee to deepen understanding between participating groups for the establishment of a final free trade agreement.

Amorim emphasized that this is an extremely important step towards the free trade zone.

“This measure, in a certain way, is already one of the Summit’s subproduct,” said the minister referring to the Summit of South American-Arab Countries, which began yesterday, in Brasí­lia.

According to the Brazilian Chancellor, the political atmosphere following the signature of the agreement is an important symptom.

“Especially after this commitment, which will ensure political confidence for the promotion of trading,” said Amorim. “A lot of people want a similar agreement, and the Mercosur is a pioneer.”

In addition to Celso Amorim, the agreement was also signed by the Ministers of Foreign Relations of Argentina, Rafael Bielsa, of Uruguay, Reinaldo Gargao, and of Paraguay, Leila Rachid de Cowles; as well as by the Vice Prime-Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, who is also its Minister of Foreign Relations and the Acting President of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mohammed Al-Khalifa; and by the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Rahman Al-Attiyah.

Agência Brasil


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