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Chavez: Venezuela Ready for Greater Mercosur Integration

Mérida, 5th November 2012 ( – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez confirmed that Venezuela will be ready to adopt the Market of the South (Mercosur) trade bloc’s external tariff policy by next month, following a meeting with Brazil’s foreign minister last Thursday.

“The engines are on for Venezuela’s Mercosur entry,” said Chavez after the meeting in Miraflores presidential palace, which reviewed the process of Venezuela’s integration into Mercosur and the progress of bilateral agreements between the two countries.

Chavez also announced that he will travel to a summit of Mercosur heads of state in Brazil on 7 December, by which point adjustments to Mercosur’s external tariff policy should be complete.

“[This is] something very important for the activation of a higher level of commerce, investment, imports, exports and the development of our countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Venezuela,” he said.

When Venezuela formally entered Mercosur in July, it was decided that the country would have four years to fully adapt to Mercosur’s trade rules.

Other meetings were announced yesterday in the promotion of continued bilateral cooperation between Brazil and Venezuela. A delegation from the Brazilian National Bank of Economic and Social Development will meet with representatives from its Venezuelan counterpart next week to discuss areas of joint financing and investment, while Brazilian president Dilma Roussef will visit Venezuela next January.

Chavez called upon Venezuelan business to get involved in the work groups established to prepare Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur, especially those sectors involved with exportation.

“We [the government] are obligated and we are going to help [business] as much as we can and should, with credit and financing of technology, to increase production and be in better condition every day to export not only petroleum, but petroleum derivatives,” he said.

The Venezuelan president also spoke favourably of Venezuela’s current economic performance, which according to the Venezuelan Central Bank sees Venezuela at over 5% GDP growth and with accumulated inflation for the first nine months of this year of 11.5%, compared with 18% in the first nine months of 2011.

Chavez further commented on the growth of oil-related industries in Venezuela, and concluded that “Venezuela has the means to start up new and more powerful engines to cooperate in the confirmation of the great South American power, whose principle motor is Brazil”.

Published on Nov 5th 2012 at 2.12pm