logo logo

EFTA, Mercosur moot free trade agreement | 10 March 2015

EFTA, Mercosur moot free trade agreement

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

Delegations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Mercosur convened in Brasilia on March 6, 2015, to discuss expanding trade ties between the two blocs.

Both sides concurred that there is potential to enhance economic cooperation and bilateral trade and investment flows. In that regard, they agreed to initiate an exploratory dialogue with a view to possible future trade negotiations, EFTA said. The first meeting of this exploratory dialogue could possibly take place within the first half of 2015.

Mercosur is comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, while EFTA is made up of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Both blocs were set up to lower tariffs on trade in goods and services between their members.

Bilateral EFTA-Mercosur merchandise trade reached USD7.4bn in 2014. EFTA’s main exports to Mercosur are pharmaceutical and chemical products, machinery, mineral fuels, and fish. Merchandise imports from Mercosur consist mainly of agricultural and food products, chemicals, and metals.