ASUNCION – New Zealand is interested in exploring a possible trade agreement with Mercosur, David Parker, the country’s minister for trade and export growth, said on Wednesday after meeting with Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Lozaiga in Asuncion.
Parker travelled to Paraguay – which currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the Mercosur trade bloc, which also includes Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay – to analyze trade opportunities for New Zealand in South America.
After the meeting, Parker told the press that New Zealand is a trading nation that already has favorable trade agreements with countries such as China, Australia and Chile but that it is seeking to look beyond the Andes to other South American countries.
The New Zealand minister said that the meeting was just the beginning and that trade representatives from his country would continue to analyze possibilities for an agreement with negotiators from the different Mercosur nations.
Mercosur is close to completing trade negotiations with the European Union, after launching them more than 19 years ago, and which have involved two years of continuous meetings in South America and Brussels to work out final differences.
On Friday, the South American trade bloc will launch trade negotiations with Canada.