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Brazil Takes Over MERCOSUR Pro Tempore Presidency

August 3rd, 2010


Argentina will transfer to Brazil on Tuesday the pro tempore presidency of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) after what officials say was a fruitful six-month mandate.

The transfer will take place during the 39th Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associated States in the northwestern city of San Juan, Argentina, about 696 miles from the capital.

The presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; Paraguay, Fernando Lugo; Uruguay, Jose Mujica; Bolivia, Evo Morales; Chile, Sebastian Piñera; and Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, will attend the meeting.

Delegates from Colombia and Peru, and special guests representing Mexico and Egypt and international bodies such as the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) also will attend the meeting.

On Monday night, Fernandez hosted a dinner for presidents and heads of delegations attending the summit, which she said is taking place “at a very special time for the world economy and especially in South America, which has recorded very satisfactory results.”

On Monday, the Common Market Council (CMC) meeting was held, in which it was announced that a MERCOSUR-Egypt free trade agreement was signed and the Public Policy Institute of Human Rights was created.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry’s secretary of Trade and International Economic Relations, Alfredo Chiaradia, said a new regional customs code was almost ready.

According Chiaradia, the new code “will be a fundamental advance” in improving trade between the bloc’s member countries by eliminating the double tariff, and in promoting better distribution of customs revenue.

Chiaradia also highlighted the resumption of talks with the European Union as the main achievement of Argentina during its MERCOSUR pro tempore presidency.

Parallel to the CMC meeting, a meeting was held between representatives of the MERCOSUR Social Summit and San Juan civil society, led by Alicia Kirchner, minister of Social Development.

Kirchner referred to the creation of the MERCOSUR Social Institute, based in Paraguay, which will generate comprehensive projects for the region.


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