The agreement between Mercosur and the European Union will be a catalyst for reform within the South American bloc and that is what the economic team is looking for, said the general coordinator of extra-regional negotiations of the Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX), Carlos Biavashi Degrazia, on Thursday, 25. “The idea is that from this agreement with the EU we will promote reforms within Mercosur that allow more flexibility, more modernization so that Mercosur can adapt to the challenges”, he said after a lecture for businessmen at Casa Firjan, from the Federation of Industries from Rio de Janeiro. At the end of the lecture, a businesswoman questioned the SECEX executive about how the division between countries will be made in relation to rice exports, for example, which also has an important producer in Uruguay. “Each war at once”, he said jokingly, signaling that negotiations could be fierce between countries, which is normal, but that criteria will be chosen and there will be much debate until the final agreement is reached. “From now on the division will have to be done. We have received quotas from the EU, for example from 99,000 tonnes of meat offered to us and will have to have a division within Mercosur. The level of these quotas has not yet been defined, but it is one of the topics that will be the subject of debate”, he explained. According to him, there is not yet a specific date for the division of quotas. “I understand that there will be an internal debate within Mercosur and criteria will be sought to allocate these quotas”, he said. Attending the event, Ambassador Graça Lima, member of Firjan’s International Relations Council, who has been following the issue for years, said that there are still many steps to be concluded and there are many obstacles, and cited France as an example, noting that there are sensitive products that even if they have zero tariff will not be imported. “The conclusion of the negotiations is good news, but it is not the end of the process. It is the beginning of a process of a political nature with all the implications it has”, he said. “I see a lot of obstacles ahead and there is one thing that is political reality and countries like France are very sensitive, have many demands from certain sectors. No wonder many products will never have free trade”, he explained. Source:

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