India-Mercosur expansion talks back on track

By: |
September 13, 2021 7:09 PM

According to top diplomatic sources, the talks between the two sides were on track and the two sides have agreed to meet for the next round in October.

India has been keen to further upgrade its India-Mercosur relations and elevate it to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

India and Mercosur member countries met to negotiate the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement between the two sides.

According to top diplomatic sources, the talks between the two sides were on track and the two sides have agreed to meet for the next round in October.

“There are some state parties who are keen to go for a Free Trade agreement and not just the expansion of the existing PTA. And this issue has to be discussed among the member countries internally before we have a technical meeting in October,” said a top diplomat on condition of anonymity.

What needs to be decided is:

“What does Mercosur want to place on the table for India? Basically, the member countries are keen on a balanced, comprehensive agreement and taking into account the requirements of both sides,” the diplomat quoted above said.

The meeting took place on September 8, 2021, and the Indian side was led by Joint Secretary of the Department of Commerce Suresh Kumar. And the Mercosur was led by the Pro Tempore Presidency of Brazil; the Paraguayan delegation was represented by the Vice Minister of Economic Relations and Integration, Ambassador Raúl Cano Ricciardi, and other senior members and representatives of other member countries.

Last year due to the global pandemic of COVID 19, the negotiations for expansion of the existing India-Mercosur PTA could not take place.

Did the ongoing differences between Brazil and Argentina hit the talks?

No. This time the two sides were very keen to pave the way for deepening of the PTA Agreement and all parties kept their differences aside during the talks last week.

India has been keen to further upgrade its India-Mercosur relations and elevate it to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

India-MERCOSUR PTA

According to a senior official, India is reaching out individually to the member countries of the Mercosur to fast track the negotiations for the expansion of the PTA which is already in place.

Which are the member countries?

Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay form the Mercosur.

The countries are in talks for the expansion of the agreement which is expected to help in achieving the trade target of USD 30 billion.

 

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