At the 28th Mercosur Summit, which is taking place on Sunday and Monday in Asunción, Paraguay, Brazil intends to reiterate its commitment to the economic block and further strengthen integration on all fronts, says the Itamaraty (Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations).
The Southern Common Market (Mercosur) consists of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was created in March 1991, by the Treaty of Asunción. In South America it encompasses 70% of the continent’s territory, 64% of its population and 60% of its GDP.
Today Mercosur is a Customs Union, with a common external tariff. The objective is to evolve into a Common Market, with not only common tariffs and free trade, but free circulation of capital and labor.
In 1996, Chile and Bolivia became associate members of Mercosur and have attended the summits since then. In 2004, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia also became associate members.
Mercosur has trade relations with other blocks, such as the European Union, and negotiates with countries in Asia, such as China and Japan.
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