PARIS – Prospects for the long-running negotiations on a trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur inspired cautious optimism on Friday among participants in the International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean, hosted by French President François Hollande.
In his speech opening the event, Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes emphasized his “firm” support for enhancing the free movement of goods and services within Mercosur and hopes for a successful outcome to the talks with the EU.
The possibility of a Mercosur-EU trade pact was the main item on the agenda for Cartes’ discussions with Hollande, Paraguayan Finance Minister Santiago Peña told EFE.
Peña said that while Paraguay is ready to approve an agreement based on proposals already put forward, Asuncion could not speak for the other Mercosur members.
“We are a small economy, but open to the world. We understand that the more free trade agreements we have, the more beneficial it will be for the country,” he added.