Brazil and Mercosur Offer to End All Tariffs for Poorest

Brazil and its Mercosur partners are ready to offer unrestricted market access, free of quotas and tariffs, to products from the least developed countries (LDCs), especially those in Africa and Latin America.

The offer was made at today’s plenary session of the Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Hong Kong, by the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim.

The proposal to approve a development package for the poorest countries has been a topic of discussion among various groups of countries since the eve of the conference.

Today, Amorim availed himself of the opportunity to address an audience comprising representatives from 149 countries to reaffirm that all must be sensitive to the needs "of the ones who face the biggest challenges," such as the LDCs and the vulnerable small economies.

"This round should result in a firm commitment by the developed countries to grant market access, free of quotas and tariffs, to products from the poorest countries," Amorim emphasized.

According to the Brazilian Minister, these preferences should be conceded on a permanent basis, in order to help these countries diversify their productive bases and "to free them from dependence upon unilateral, uncertain, and unstable favors." The Mercosur is ready to put this commitment into practice, he asserts.

ABr

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