In a statement to the press after his meeting Thursday, March 16, with the president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that he recognizes the need for the members of the Mercosur (Southern Common Market) to resolve their differences.
"Brazil is aware of its responsibilities within the Mercosur. As the bloc’s biggest economy, we are determined to promote concrete policies for there to be a balanced distribution of the benefits stemming from regional integration. The Mercosur must benefit all its members," he remarked.
Lula mentioned various moves aimed at the equilibrium of the bloc, such as the creation of the Structural Convergence Fund and negotiations to eliminate double payment of the External Common Tariff and to attract move investments to the smaller partners, Uruguay and Paraguay.
"All based on the premise of a united Mercosur, capable of speaking with a single voice at international trade talks."
Nevertheless, the president pointed out that the "Mercosur for All" will only come about through the strengthening of the bloc’s institutions, such as the regional parliament.
"We are a bloc of sovereign countries, and our great virtue has been to forge a union where all are equal."
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