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Brazil Calls For Mercosur-Caricom FTA

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

28 April 2010

During the CARICOM-Brazil Summit on April 26, delegations from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Brazil discussed enhancing trade ties following the opening of the Takutu River Bridge in September 2009, which creates a physical link between Guyana and Brazil.

During the meetings, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that negotiations should begin between Mercosur, comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, for the conclusion of a free trade agreement with CARICOM. In addition Lula stated that the two blocs should also investigate opening up new trade links by sea and air.

Demonstrating Brazil’s commitment to enhanced relations, a comprehensive technical cooperation agreement was signed, which, according to a statement from CARICOM, will facilitate increased cooperation in 16 areas.

Welcoming Brazil’s commitment to enhance ties with the Caribbean, the CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, stated:

“We were heartened by the confirmation that Brazil was prepared to proceed with flexibility and generosity; and that united, CARICOM and Brazil could build a new economic and commercial geography. This inaugural meeting is a tangible expression of that intent and commitment to establish such a partnership and to further existing cooperation initiatives.”

Reflecting on the opening of the Takutu River Bridge, Skerrit added:

“I have no doubt that this physical link will expand economic benefits to the CARICOM Region. This bridge will help make available a trade route which will further the efforts of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy which is intended to provide the springboard to facilitate CARICOM’s integration into the hemisphere.”

“Some member states have started to formalize their trading relationships with Brazil. Guyana has signed a partial scope agreement. Saint Kitts and Nevis has expressed interest in becoming part of that agreement,” Skerrit concluded.

TAGS: Suriname | free trade agreement (FTA) | Bahamas | Montserrat | Paraguay | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Uruguay | export duty | law | Belize | Grenada | Trinidad and Tobago | offshore | agreements | Antigua and Barbuda | Brazil | Dominica | Guyana | Saint Kitts and Nevis | import duty | trade | Argentina | Barbados

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