LatAm nations urge Brazil to trade more within region

EFE

Officials from the countries that make up the Pacific Alliance - Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru - agreed here Wednesday that Brazil could do more to promote regional economic integration.

The invitation for Brazil to increase its trade with the Pacific Alliance was made at a seminar in Sao Paulo including officials, business executives and the director of Economic Integration at the Brazilian foreign ministry, Michel Arslanian Neto.

The diplomat acknowledged that Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, attributes "little value" to trade relations with neighboring nations, which he said was a mistake since the region has "strategic importance" for Brazilian international trade.

"We must bear in mind that we export more to Latin America and the Caribbean than we export to the United States and the European Union ," he said.

Evelyne Rodriguez, of Mexico's trade and investment promotion agency ProMexico, criticized Brazil's stance on trade negotiations and pointed to the "complexity" of the Brazilian tax code as an obstacle to more effective trade integration.

On that subject, ProColombia director Alejandro Pelaez urged Brazil to expand its economic openness.

ProChile director Maria Julia Riquelme said that the 26 commercial agreements that her country maintains today allow Chile to reach "63 percent of the world's population."

She also said that Chilean investment has created more than 115,000 jobs in Brazil, so bilateral agreements should be encouraged.

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