Mercosur-EU trade deal “highway to growth” for Argentina: president

BUENOS AIRES, July 11 (NNN-Xinhua) — The free trade agreement reached at the end of June between the South American trade bloc Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the European Union (EU) is a “highway to growth” for Argentina, President Mauricio Macri said.

“It is a highway to growth because it is an agreement that allows us to reciprocally commit to comply, to have the rules of the game clear,” he said at the inauguration of a viaduct between Palermo and La Paternal train stations here.

“What we have achieved and cost us so much these three and a half year has laid the foundation for us to achieve a greater and faster growth for the next 20 years,” Macri added.

Mercosur is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Macri said that the agreement between the two blocs will create more jobs in Argentina in order to meet the EU’s demands.

According to Argentina’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the agreement reached on June 28 in the Belgian capital creates a market making up almost a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Under the agreement, the EU will remove tariffs for 93 percent of Mercosur exports to the EU and offer preferential treatment for the remaining 7 percent.

The two blocs agreed on transition periods ranging from 10 to 15 years for Mercosur countries, during which the FTA will be applied gradually in accordance with the adjustments of Mercosur members’ economies.

The agreement still needs to be ratified by congresses of the countries involved. — NNN-XINHUA