Mercosur, African Union Begin Trade, Cooperation Discussions - Argentine Foreign Ministry
BUENOS AIRES (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th June, 2021) The Southern Common Market, also known as Mercosur, began negotiations on trade and cooperation with the African Union, with Argentine official chairing the first meeting, the country's foreign ministry said on Friday.
"Mercosur and the African Union are starting negotiations on trade and cooperation. Under the Argentine presidency, Secretary of International Economic Relations Jorge Neme chaired the first meeting between Mercosur and the African Union, aimed to strengthen relations between both blocs, renew political ties, and further increase economic relations. The African Union was represented by Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga, " the ministry's statement read.
According to Neme, more than 290 million people live across Mercosur, which also ranks as the world's seventh economy regarding GDP, while Africa is "an economic promise of the future with a population of more than 1.2 billion people and an approximate GDP of $ 2.5 trillion."
Mercosur was founded in 1991 to promote a common space to generate commercial and investment opportunities through the integration of South American economies into the international market. The organization includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay as members, as well as Bolivia, Chile Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname as associated members.
African Union, comprising more than 50 member states, was set up in 2001.