South American Mercosur bloc, Singapore conclude trade pact talks

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Mercosur trade bloc summit in Bento Goncalves

BRASILIA – South American trade bloc Mercosur on Wednesday concluded talks on a trade pact with Singapore, Brazil’s Economy and Foreign Affairs Ministries said.

The agreement – finalized during a meting attended by the Mercosur bloc of countries, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, in Paraguay but not yet signed – addresses a variety of tariff and regulatory issues.

It also establishes commitments on financial services and on the transit of people between the countries.

The pact, which follows one struck earlier this year between Singapore and the Pacific Alliance of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile, could increase Brazil’s GDP by 28.1 billion reais ($5.14 billion) between 2022 and 2041, said the Economy Ministry.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said in 2019 that he hoped Mercosur would strike deals with Singapore, as well as Canada and South Korea.

Investments by Singapore in the country could be boosted by 11.1 billion reais by 2041, while Brazil’s exports to the Asian country could grow by 21.2 billion reais, the ministry said.

The agreement will be submitted to legal evaluation and will be signed at a later date.

($1 = 5.4714 reais)

(Reporting by Bernardo Caram; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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