Brazil hosted the LI Mercosur Presidential Summit on 21 Dec, 2017. The reunion was of the utmost importance for those involved in the field of international trade, as if the Member-States (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay) were to join, they would make up the 5th largest economy in the world, with a collective GDP of USD 2.7 trillion, and a total population of 245 million people.
Mercosur will continue to grow in importance as long as associated countries, such as Chile, Colombia, Equator, Peru, The Guianas, and Suriname, continue to pursue permanent membership. The increasing quantity of members demonstrates the relevance of the bloc, which works continuously to expand its role as a major player in the global economy.
Highly important subjects were approved: A common electronic commerce platform and actions guided towards the digital economy (called Digital Agenda), a Government Procurement Agreement, and a Unified Consumer’s Rights Policy. Some issues are to be debated in 2018, including digital integration matters on connectivity, security, and economics of Mercosur. Regulatory Guidelines and Public Transparency are also topics of interest to be discussed at some point in the future.
When the past decades of closed economy models are put in balance, the trend of an improved political-economic setting for South American countries is excellent news. There seems to be a change in the situation regarding the relationship between American countries towards a more transparent and cooperative manner. That is good news to all nations that are open to free-trade. Mercosur is breaking down economic barriers between its participants, leading the way for a friendlier trade environment, and brighter prospects for all parties involved.
For more information on the Summit and topics related to Mercosur, please refer to the official websites: http://www.mercosur.int/ and http://www.mdic.gov.br/index.php/component/content/article?id=2985.