Friday, May 9th 2014 – 06:47

At the end of May Mercosur will be ready to exchange tariff-reduction proposals with the European Union, announced Brazilian Industry minister Mauro Borges who also anticipated the trade block would be holding a preparatory meeting next week in Caracas, Venezuela.

“We’re ready to finish the Mercosur proposal to be presented to the European Union, the basics for a free trade agreement, and this will be widely beneficial for the region’s integration to the world economy” said Borges following a forty minute meeting on Thursday with Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes in Asunción.

“We plan to meet in Caracas next week, May 12/13 so that by the end of the month we can be in Brussels to tell the EU we are ready for the exchange of proposals. That is our goal, and that was the main issue of our discussions with President Cartes and Industry and Trade minister Gustavo Leite”, added Borges who also praised the close trade relations between Paraguay and Brazil.

On bilateral issues, Borges pointed out to the investment alternatives that Brazil can provide in capital investment such as ”urban mobility, urban transport and flex cars (powered with gasoline or bio-fuel). Paraguay has a great potential in ethanol production, it generates power, jobs, much activity and Brazil has decades of experience“.

Borges also underlined the significance of changing to flex-cars, fueled both by gasoline and ethanol, ”which will be of enormous benefit for both countries“.

Another controversial issue was that of Asian textiles smuggled into Paraguay and Brazil.

”We talked about promoting textile industries so that we can export to Brazil; this will also create jobs in Paraguay, a big concern of President Cartes and obviously should help to diminish the influx of Asian imports”, said Paraguayan minister Leite.