Argentina Calls On Mercosur to Sign FTAs ​​With Vietnam, Indonesia

At the Conference of Foreign Ministers of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) in Asuncion, Argentine, officials called for "more flexibility in negotiations and seeking opportunities to sign FTAs" with Vietnam and Indonesia.
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On July 7, Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino called on the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) to be more flexible in negotiations, and seek opportunities to sign free trade agreements (FTA) with Vietnam and Indonesia.

Speaking at the Mercosur Conference of Foreign Ministers in the capital Asuncion, Mondino emphasized that the bloc needs radical reforms to promote intra-bloc trade as well as expand cooperation with other markets.

Photo: VNA
Photo: VNA

According to Mondino, Mercosur is a potential market with a foundation to diversify and expand relationships with the world. However, currently member countries have not exploited all the potential, and they need radical reform.

She expressed concern about stagnation and tariff barriers in the market as well as between member countries in the past 10 years, in the context of a rapidly progressing world.

She believes that Mercosur needs to be more dynamic and improve its ability to adapt to future problems, including Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Mondino commented that Mercosur has not created favorable conditions for access to large markets outside the region, nor signed FTAs ​​with other countries to create momentum for international integration.

She criticized Mercosur's currently high tariffs. This is a huge barrier for countries outside the bloc, as well as current regulations that prevent member countries from accessing large markets outside the region.

According to Foreign Minister Mondino, the only way for this region to become "more modern and dynamic" is to carry out liberal reforms. She also appreciated the cooperation between countries in Mercosur, of which Argentina is a member along with Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Mondino emphasized that Argentina is in a new stage of development to promote a "more active" foreign economic policy focused on freedom, while reaffirming Buenos Aires' membership in the bloc. After 33 years of establishment, Mercosur is Argentina's leading export and investment market.

The Mercosur Conference of Foreign Ministers takes place before the Mercosur Summit, taking place on July 8 in Paraguay.

Previously, on July 5, Bolivia officially became a member of Mercosur after Bolivian President Luis Arce signed a document approving joining this organization.

On social network X, Arce appreciated the strategic significance of joining Mercosur for this country's South American integration process.

In December 2023, Mercosur signed an FTA with Singapore. This is the first time in 12 years that Mercosur has reached a trade agreement with a partner outside the bloc. Trade exchange between Mercosur and Singapore in 2022 reached about US$10 billion.

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