Hey folks…we are closing in on the ninth Pacific Alliance summit scheduled for June 19 and 20 in Nayarit, Mexico.
One theme we expect to come up is the role of Mercosur, especially as the new Bachelet administering has hinted at a desire to be closer to the Atlantic bloc.
This was the topic of a new post I have online at the FT blog beyondbrics.
So, beyond being unlikley, Alliance integration with Mercosur would seem like a crazy idea, right? Not necessarily.
From the post:
The notion of Mercosur integration should not be dismissed. There are potential advantages to the Pacific Alliance of working with their sluggish neighbours. More efficient Alliance firms could be competitive across the Andes if granted privileged access to Mercosur countries. Integration has also been seen as a strategy to create a bridge to Asia. Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela conduct significant trade with China and, with improved infrastructure, Pacific Alliance countries could serve as intermediaries.
Moreover, certain Mercosur members may be softening their stance on trade. Brazil and Uruguay have more aggressively pursued an agreement with the EU, even hinting at a two-track negotiation process that would initially exclude Argentina (as a new member of Mercosur, Venezuela is not participating in the talks). Finally, Uruguay and Paraguay, already observers in the Pacific Alliance, have expressed high-level interest in joining as members. They have also expressed their frustration with Mercosur.
These countries are unlikely to walk away from the Atlantic bloc given the access it provides to otherwise well-defended markets. But they may be increasingly amenable to more trade-friendly integration efforts, such as those offered by the Pacific Alliance.
If this is the case, perhaps the Bachelet administration could be the conduit to connect Atlantic Latin America with the region’s emerging Pacific.
You can find the whole post HERE. Yes, you will have to log in. Yes, that is annoying. No, you wont have to pay anaything.