Lamy says EU-Mercosur trade talks in Buenos Aires are crucial

Lamy says EU-Mercosur trade talks in Buenos Aires are crucial

AFP

08 June 2004

European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said Tuesday a new round of talks between the European Union and Mercosur in Buenos Aires will be crucial if the negotiations are to be concluded as planned by October.

Speaking Tuesday at a forum here organised by Spanish news agency Europe Press, Lamy said: "There is no doubt that the sort of rounds to come and notably the one we are having this week, starting today (Tuesday) in Buenos Aires, will be crucial."

He said the EU had made concessions on sensitive issues such as agriculture and that the he now expected similar efforts from Mercosur, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

"What we had so far on the Mercosur side, and notably because of Brazilian reluctance in areas like services, investment, public procurement — which are very imporant for us in the future — makes it an unbalanced situation, which we will have to strive extremely hard to rebalance and this is what is going to happen hopefully this week and next week," he said.

Lamy also stressed that the target of concluding the talks by October was not an official deadline.

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