March 4, 2021

Paraguay trusts that national parliaments ratify the Mercosur-EU agreement

The chancellor of Paraguay, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, told Efe today that he trusts that the national parliaments ratify the agreement reached between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur, despite some criticisms that have arisen in different political formations on both sides of the Atlantic. .

Castiglioni, who was present at the Congress in the first management report of the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, said he is "very optimistic" in this treaty, which opens "opportunities for all" and with which the two blocks will result " winners. "

"I am very optimistic that it will finally be approved by all the parliaments, because it really benefits all the economic sectors of both parties," the foreign minister said.

Although last Friday the EU and Mercosur, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and with Venezuela suspended, successfully concluded almost 20 years of negotiations, the work has not yet been completed, since the final documents must now be prepared and submit to national parliaments for later signature.

"We believe that this will be a process that will take about two years, approximately (…) From then on, the process of immediate implementation of a large part of the articles begins," the chancellor replied, asked about the next steps of this agreement.

He also clarified that the full entry into force of the agreement can be delayed up to ten years in some points.

For Castiglioni, this agreement will serve to complement the trade of both blocks, with an opportunity for "the manufacturing sector of Europe" and for "the sector of primary production of Mercosur".

In the specific case of Paraguay, some products will be allowed to enter "without tariffs" in the European Union market, while in others "very preferential" entry tariffs will be established.

"We will be taking advantage of the quota of 99 million kilograms of meat, 450 million liters of ethanol for industrial use, 45 million kilograms of honey …", said Castiglioni.

The chancellor referred to the specific case of Paraguayan meat, with a "high genetic quality" and "totally organic", since the country is one of the largest producers in the world.

Regarding the possible phytosanitary adjustments that Mercosur must undertake to adapt to European standards, Castiglioni said that Paraguay has made "enormous efforts" to "build credibility in its phytosanitary system."

The agreement between Mercosur and the EU was also one of the topics highlighted by Abdo Benítez during his first management report before Congress, on the occasion of the start of the legislative year.

The Paraguayan leader referred to this event as "one of the most important in history for the global good".

With the agreement reached last week between the EU and Mercosur, it will reach 780 million people, between the two blocs.

For Mercosur, the EU is its second commercial partner and in 2018 it represented 20.1% of the total trade of the South American bloc.

(tagsToTranslate) Paraguay (t) national parliaments (t) ratify (t) Mercosur-EU

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