Mercosur and Bolivia plan to meet soon to expedite Bolivia’s membership by focusing on rules and tariffs.
Officials say the next meeting aims to move Bolivia closer to joining. They discussed tariffs and rules in the last meeting.
Brazil’s Congress needs to okay Bolivia’s entry. President Lula plans to speed this up, but lacks enough votes now. The terms of Bolivia’s entry will also get reviewed.
Lula promises to push the Senate for Bolivia’s entry. Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay stand ready to help.
They say Brazil holds the key right now. Under Lula, interest in Bolivia’s entry has renewed.
Bolivia’s inclusion offers a key link to the Andean Community. This group also counts Bolivia as a member.
Diplomats note that Bolivia’s gas could fuel Mercosur’s growth.
The Andean Community has Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Talks are on for Argentina to join and Chile to return.
Bolivia is unique for its three ecosystems: Amazon, Plata, and Andes.
President Luis Arce of Bolivia stresses the desire to join Mercosur. He sees it as a way to boost trade and unity.
Work on Bolivia’s entry restarted this year. The focus is on laws, tariffs, and deals with other countries.
Bolivia signed the entry papers in 2015. But full membership waits for Brazil’s Congress, now led by conservative forces.
Mercosur, formed in 1991, aims to improve trade among South American countries. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay were the founding members.
Venezuela joined in 2012 but got suspended in 2016. Bolivia has been in talks for entry since 2015.
Mercosur had early success in boosting trade within the group. But political changes often slow down its goals.
For example, under Brazil’s former leader Jair Bolsonaro, interest in expanding the group waned.
The group primarily trades in agricultural goods, machinery, and vehicles.