Business confederations call for ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement

The joint statement of the confederations of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and BusinessEurope.

In a joint statement they reiterate their full support for the completion of the agreement between the two trade blocs. 

The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic as a member of BusinessEurope fully supports this statement and the position as mentioned in the bellow press release of the BE.

The business confederations of the Mercosur countries and BusinessEurope, which represents 40 European business confederations, called today for the rapid ratification and implementation of the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, warning that a delay could jeopardize the full potential of the opportunities offered by the agreement.

At the initiative of CIP - Confederation of Portuguese Business, the business confederations of Europe and Mercosur countries met today, 26th November 2020, for the first time, within the scope of the preparatory work for the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, which takes place in the first half of 2021.

In the joint statement, the business confederations of the Mercosur countries and BusinessEurope reiterated their full support for the EU-Mercosur Agreement and underlined their commitment to work together with the authorities of the different countries for its rapid ratification and implementation.

"The deal offers very good opportunities to both Parties' economies and societies and it is crucially important not only for strategic and economic reasons, but also from a sustainability perspective", refer the business confederations.

The meeting was closed by the Secretary of State for Internationalization of Portugal, Eurico Brilhante Dias, who underlined that "for a number of reasons, that include economic and political aspects, Portugal strongly supports the conclusion of the EU-Mercosur Agreement. It is about strengthening access to an essential market for Portuguese companies and, more broadly, a new step towards strengthening relations with a region that we understand to be strategic and with which we maintain deep historical and cultural ties".

"The conclusion of this important agreement, at a time when we are witnessing a sharp worldwide upsurge of protectionism, will give a clear signal of Portugal and the European Union's commitment to free trade, will contribute decisively to the recovery of the world economy in a post-pandemic scenario, and will reinforce Mercosur's role as a catalyst for regional economic integration. Today, on the eve of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as in 2000, the year in which negotiations began, the same level of commitment to materializing what could become one of the largest free trade agreements ever signed by the EU" he added.

For the President of BusinessEurope, Pierre Gattaz, "building stronger trade and investment ties will allow us to overcome the challenges but also seize the opportunities post-COVID."

"This agreement was 20 years in the making. Let's make sure that we go the extra mile to get it ratified fast. We cannot afford to wait another 20 years", he warned.

"The agreement is strategic to integrate two of the largest economic regions in the West. The gradual removal of trade barriers, which currently affect 65% of our trade, will allow competitive adjustment on both sides, while stimulating trade and investments. For this reason, the private sectors on both sides need to lead the support for implementation" said the president of the National Confederation of Industry, Brazil, Robson Braga de Andrade.

"The treaty also favors the sustainability part, having the most complete and ambitious chapter of all trade agreements signed by the European Union. The countries of Mercosur and the European Union undertake to strictly respect the Paris Agreement, including in terms of CO2 emissions", he added.

For the President of CIP, António Saraiva, who was the host of this meeting, "the completion of the largest agreement ever concluded by either the European Union or Mercosur will give the two regions the opportunity to overcome the difficulties we are experiencing, but also to project the future beyond the pandemic ".

"I am sure that this agreement will be a priority for the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, which has the commitment of business confederations to make it a reality", he added.

Please see the joint statement here.

Šeráková Petra
section Podnikatelské prostředí