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Mercosur announces Bolivia’s accession to the economic bloc;  Understand what’s changing – News

Mercosur announces Bolivia’s accession to the economic bloc; Understand what’s changing – News

Mercosur – a group initially formed by Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina – announced Bolivia’s accession to the economic bloc during the summit held in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday (7). The agenda included the participation of heads of state and other authorities.

At the end of November, the Senate agreed to join. The draft legislative decree has already passed through the House of Representatives and will now be issued. The accession process has been ongoing since 2015, and Brazil has only taken a decision on this issue. The parliaments of the other member states (Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) had already approved the listing.

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Once Bolivia’s accession is confirmed, Mercosur will become a bloc with 300 million people, a territorial extension of 13.8 million square kilometers, and a GDP of US$3.5 trillion. After ratification, the country will have four years to complete the accession process and adopt the bloc’s standards.

Currently, Bolivia is associated with the group, as are Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana and Suriname. This means that these countries are not fully part of Mercosur, but can formalize free trade agreements with its members and participate in the bloc’s meetings.

“With the integration of Bolivia, we are actually getting closer to realizing the dream of Atlantic-Pacific integration. It will be presented to the planning ministers of all countries. And we will have a great deal of money to be able to realize it. This is a physics dream,” said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Our integration.

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Since its establishment, Mercosur has signed three agreements with countries outside the South American region: Israel (2007), Egypt (2010), and Palestine (2011). According to the Foreign Ministry, the bloc signed preferential agreements with India and the southern African countries that make up the Southern African Customs Union – South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Botswana.

If it were a country, Mercosur would be the eighth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of US$2.86 trillion, or about R$14.3 trillion. The bloc is the main destination for foreign investment in South America – in 2022, it received 64% of what was sent to the region.

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In 2017, Nicolas Maduro’s Venezuela was suspended from the bloc for not complying with 112 resolutions required of any member joining Mercosur. Returning the country to the South American group will not be formally discussed at the summit, but Lula’s Brazil supports the measure.