News Daily Spot: Mercosur about to agree to negotiate agreement with the EU, Venezuela is not included

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Mercosur about to agree to negotiate agreement with the EU, Venezuela is not included

The president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, said "is very close" to an agreement between the Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay before facing the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union in a interview with AFP.

Hugo and Alexandre PEYRILLE OLAZAR / AFP

Paraguay is working "intensely" for the South American bloc presidential summit scheduled for December 21 in Asuncion is the stage for the announcement, Cartes said at the presidential residence in Guarani language popularly known as "Mburuvich√° Roga" (House of Cacique ).

"Missing some details. And we agreed Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Missing only Argentina, and now largely depends on a decimal to have an offer that will be the beginning of many conversations with the European Union, "said the ruling.

Venezuela, which became a full member of the bloc in 2012, is not part of these negotiations with the EU that began 20 years ago with the founding countries.

Cartes said the EU "know very well the effort made by the pro tempore presidency of Paraguay to lower the proposals of Mercosur".

Paraguay will provide the rotating presidency of the group to Uruguay in the December summit.

"Personally I have a very strong conviction that want a closer and stronger relationship with Europe," he said.

Cartes, whose Colorado Party faces municipal elections on Sunday, admitted that Mercosur went through different stages that hindered the draft Common Market. "There was a time when Mercosur has become highly politicized."

"It was distorted but he is returning to the origin. Mercosur is not political. Economical hundred percent. Today we are talking a lot (with the other presidents). We respect all ways of thinking but the block must return to being a purely economic bloc, "he said.

Growing up in a region Brake

Paraguay, South American country of seven million people, wedged between Brazil and Argentina resists global economic crisis.

The president noted that Paraguay Cartes grow this year more than 3%, while the countries of the region slow.

"The growth will continue (...) Paraguay has had a great attraction," he said.

According to the president in his country it is the region "where the production cost is lower."

"We are on track despite the slowdown in China, which immediately affected all countries with raw materials," said the tobacco entrepreneur.

"Companies from many countries are coming to invest," he said, citing countries such as Japan, South Korea and Germany.

He admitted that the prospect of growth at the beginning of this year was 5.1%. "Today we will maintain that growth will be above 3% (in 2015)," he said.

In 2014, growth was about 5% and over 14% in 2013, the second highest in the world after Singapore.

Poverty vs corruption

Elected in August 2013 for a period of five years, this businessman of 59 years and leader of the right reiterated its initial commitment to fighting poverty that affects 30% of the population.

The backbone of the economy of Paraguay lies in soybean exports (fourth largest exporter) and beef (sixth largest exporter in the world). In contrast, suffers from endemic corruption.

"Get used to transparency. You can not rule covering things (...) The political class also must learn that he will return to conquer the people, "he said.

"Yes, there is corruption, but (citizens) know that this government is the one denouncing corruption. Today everything is very visible, "he said.

In addition to its agricultural riches, Paraguay has a hydroelectric energy assets far beyond their own needs.

Looking ahead to the next climate conference in Paris, COP 21, Cartes plans to highlight the energy potential of your country, exporter of "clean and renewable energy" produced by its hydroelectric Itaipu and Yacyreta, shared with Brazil and Argentina respectively.

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