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EU woos Brazil at Summit
January 26, 2013, 11:10 am


Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff (l) talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. [AP]

Brazilian and European Union leaders on Thursday expressed their interest in signing a free trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU at the 6th Brazil-European Union Summit in Brasilia.

“In the next few days we will hold a high-level Mercosur-EU meeting, where we will define the next steps of the agreement, which will be very important for both regions,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said.

Rousseff underlined the import of the bilateral commission formed on Thursday to help the EU explore investment opportunities in Brazil.

Rousseff said trade between Brazil and the EU was dynamic even during the financial crisis, reaching $96 billion in 2012.

Earlier talks between the EU and Mercosur were suspended between 2004 and 2010, because both sides refused to make more concessions concerning Europe’s agriculture and Latin America’s industry.

There are 27 European nations in the EU, while Mercosur is formed of five countries – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at the conclusion of the Summit, that free trade was the most important topic discussed at the meeting.

Barroso noted Brazil has become a global economic power and called on both parties to work towards greater international cooperation on major global issues, especially towards achieving a global agreement on climate change before 2015.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, hailed the summit, saying it “is marked by ambition, especially in economy and trade.”

He said the EU was willing to work with Brazil, especially on economic and trade issues, and praised Brazilian investment in the European bloc.

Source: Agencies