Mercosur flag via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 14 July 2017: Trade volume between Egypt and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc that includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, stood at $5.3 billion last year, said Michael Gamal, head of the Trade Ministry’s Trade Agreements and Foreign Trade Sector on Thursday.
He added that Egypt’s exports to the bloc amounted to $110 million, while its imports stood at $4.3 billion.
Gamal said that the free trade agreement signed between Egypt and Mercosur will open new markets for the Egyptian products, especially that the Latin American market is considered a big consumer market.
The GDP of the countries founding the Mercosur reached $1.7 trillion, with a growth rate of seven percent. The bloc’s global imports amounted to $235 billion in 2016.
According to the agreement, free trade of goods between Egypt and the Mercosur bloc will be implemented gradually throughout 10 years, with the exception of some “sensitive” goods, Gamal said.
The agreement includes immediate and gradual elimination of custom duties as well as a mechanism for settling disputes that might emerge between Egypt and the bloc.
Founded in 1991, the Mercosur bloc saw a fivefold increase in regional trade in the 1990s. The accord called for the “free movement of goods, services, and factors of production between countries”, according to Foreign Affairs magazine.