This was the first full negotiation round since 2012, the first to be held since the exchange of market access offers of 11 May 2016 and the tenth overall since May 2010.
According to a joint communiqué by the European Commission, negotiators discussed the full range of negotiating texts and rules and exchanged views on how to progress on market access issues.
Chief negotiators were reported to be “satisfied” with the results of a productive and constructive meeting, which included progress on a wide range of areas.
Both sides have committed to making all necessary efforts to progress in the negotiations. The two sides agreed on intersessional work on a series of issues and on holding the next round of negotiations in Buenos Aires on 20 March 2017.
During the talks, Miguel Braun, Argentina’s commerce secretary told reporters he was “optimistic we can move forward at a good pace – maybe one or two years”.
Following the negotiations, Francisco Turra, the chief executive of the Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) in Brazil, called for an agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.
Turra defended the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, highlighting the role of Brazilian exporters including the fact that Brazilian chicken meat exports currently represent 4% of European consumption.
“Our focus is to supplement the spaces not occupied by local production, offering quality products with a reliable health status and profile, sustainable, within the demands of the European consumer market,” he said.
He explained that the agreement was beneficial to animal protein sectors of Europe and the Mercosur countries. “Our exports help to balance the supply of products in the European Union. On the one hand help to generate employment and income in Brazil and, on the other, contribute to the maintenance of the European protein industry, allowing them to explore other markets with certain products, without unbalancing their own domestic supply. All win.”