By Pedro Peduzzi and Débora Brito
Image Attribute: Brazil and Argentina plan to create the conditions to bolster and expand the commercial ties with the European Union, China, Mexico, and the US.Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil
Brazil and Argentina plan to create the conditions to bolster and expand the commercial ties with the European Union, China, Mexico, and the US. During a meeting with the president from both countries, Michel Temer and Mauricio Macri also highlighted their interest in advancing talks with the Pacific Alliance.
According to the Argentine head of state, the idea is to take the opportunity provided by a meeting with chancellors, slated for March but with no venue defined as yet, to bring MERCOSUR and the Pacific Alliance closer together. The topic was also discussed during the signing ceremony of a number of memoranda between the two nations.
In his speech, Macri said he expects the partnership to cause a historical impact on MERCOSUR and lead to Brazil and Argentina taking better positions, and not just in the Latin-American scenario. According to the Argentine president, 2017 will be “a year of positive turns for the development of this strategic alliance as well as for the strengthening of the ties between the bloc and the world.”
MERCOSUR will be headed by Argentina in the first half of this year and by Brazil in the second. During this period, the goal of the two countries is to bring the bloc closer together and its expand diplomatic ties with other regions of the world. “It's time to expand trade, expand investment, and opportunities for Argentinians and Brazilians since there are no taboos in Brazil-Argentina relations at the present moment,” Temer said in his speech, which was delivered before the traditional lunch with heads of state.
The Brazilian president noted that the partnership is all the more important if one bears in mind the context of “uncertainties in the international scenario.” “During a time when trends of disunity, isolation, and protectionism have gained momentum, Argentina and Brazil react with a better rapport, more dialog, more trade,” Temer stated, referring to the protectionist policy fostered by US President Donald Trump.
After the address at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, the Brazilian president handed over to Macri the National Order of the Southern Cross Collar, the highest Brazilian decoration conferred to a foreign head of state.
This is Mauricio Macri's first official visit to Brazil. In the morning, the two heads of state gathered and signed cooperation agreements in fields of diplomacy, commerce (including state-controlled purchases), and cross-border security, which encompasses the possibility of assistance in emergency cases and civil defense cooperation on frontier areas.
One of the memoranda deals with the partnership between the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX) and the Argentine Agency for Investments and International Trade. This cooperation should include regular meetings between the two agencies, the exchange of publications and information about their markets, stimulus to commercial missions between the two countries, mutual assistance in international fairs, contact between investors for the promotion of industrial and commercial collaboration, and the creation of mixed firms to be brought into operation in other countries.
Macri and Temer also signed a letter to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) requesting studies on the creation of an agency for the regulatory convergence of Brazil and Argentina. This plan, Temer argued, will help facilitate the flow of trade and investment.
In the view of the Argentine president, on establishing sanitary and phytosanitary criteria, for instance, this agency would “bolster the productive integration and open up markets bringing employment for Brazilians and Argentinians,” he said. “We're partners and we have a lot to share and exchange. We want to be your partners. In football, we want to win, but in other [fields] we want to work together,” he added.
As a priority, Macri also mentioned the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. Michel Temer remarked that cross-border security assails both Brazil and its neighbors and that therefore it should be properly addressed.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira | Edited by: Amanda Cieglinski / Nira Foster
(c) 2017 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC | Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil