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Rondônia, quinta, 28 de outubro de 2021.



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Economy Minister: Brazil to insist on changes in Mercosur


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Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said Brazil will continue to attempt to make changes in Mercosur. The Brazilian government, he declared, has sought to “modernize” the economic bloc, but has met resistance from Argentina. The bloc is formed by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

“Our position is a step forward. We are not going to leave Mercosur. But we will not accept Mercosur as an ideological tool. Mercosur has a crystal-clear proposal: to be a platform for the integration of the global economy. If it fails to deliver, we will modernize it. Like it or leave it,” he said, while participating Monday (17) in the event Brazil Wants More, promoted by the International Chamber of Commerce.


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Brazil has proposed a ten percent reduction in the common external tariff for all goods, whereas Argentina advocates that only a portion of the products should be affected. “We will not budge from our stance. And it seems that Argentina is firm in a position contrary to ours,” Guedes declared regarding the bloc’s internal disputes.

Disagreements also include the way decisions are made within the bloc. As it stands today, all decisions are made following consensus among all four member nations. “Unanimity is required in making change to Mercosur, and they turn this into vetoes. In fact, three members are willing to modernize Mercosur: Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Argentina is facing a really special, delicate moment, and we understand that,” the minister remarked.

Privatizations

Concerning Brazil’s economic policy, Guedes once again advocated efforts to privatize state-run companies as one of the guiding axes in long-term goals. “To go ahead with  privatization: Petrobras, Banco do Brasil. Everyone’s getting in line, being sold, and this is turned into social dividends,” he pointed out.

The minister further noted that, in the last two years and a half, privatizations added up to R$ 240 billion. Guedes’s expectation is that the sale of major state-controlled firms—like Eletrobras and Correios—are approved. “The plan is to transform the Brazilian state: to rely more on private investment and speed up destatization,” he went on to say.

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