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News > Brazil

MERCOSUR Presidential Summit Kicks Off in Brazil

  • Presidents Luis Arce (L) and Lula da Silva (R), 2023.

    Presidents Luis Arce (L) and Lula da Silva (R), 2023. | Photo: X/ @AndreteleSUR

Published 7 December 2023

This event brings together presidents Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Santiago Peña (Paraguay), Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay) and Luis Arce (Bolivia).

On Thursday, the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), an integration bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, initiated a presidential summit in Rio de Janeiro.


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In this Brazilian city, MERCOSUR leaders will confirm Bolivia's inclusion in their group, sign a free trade agreement with Singapore, and discuss negotiations with the European Union (EU).

"Bolivia's entry is a very important achievement for MERCOSUR, which will now have 283 million people," said Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who will hand over the MERCOSUR presidency pro tempore to Paraguay.

This summit brings together presidents Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Santiago Peña (Paraguay), Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay) and Luis Arce (Bolivia).

Bolivian President Luis Arce says, "We hand over the baton of command to our vice president David Choquehuanca before traveling to the sister republic of Brazil, where we will participate in the summit of MERCOSUR, a regional bloc that takes great importance to face the transition towards a new multipolar world that guarantees the balance of powers and respect for non-interference."

The MERCOSUR leaders will analyze the state of trade negotiations with the EU after yet another disagreement between the two blocs, hindering the final signing of a text that has been under negotiation for over two decades.

Brazil had hoped to conclude the process this year. However, opposition from various European countries, led by France, and Argentina's reluctance to commit to what it considers an "obsolete" agreement, prevented this.

Brazil emphatically reiterated its support for continuing negotiations with the European Union, with which a general political agreement was already reached in 2019.

The MERCOSUR founding members will sign the ratification letter for Bolivia's accession, which was already an associate state and now has a four-year period to align its legislation with the regulations of the customs union founded in 1991.

Additionally, they will endorse a trade agreement with the Republic of Singapore, marking the first in MERCOSUR's history with a country from the Asia-Pacific region.

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