Brasilia, Oct 18 (EFECOM).- The plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil approved this Wednesday the accession protocol of Bolivia as a full member of Mercosur, which was signed in 2015 by the partners of the commercial bloc but whose entry into force depends of ratification by all parliaments.
The Brazilian Parliament’s approval of Bolivia’s accession agreement as a full partner of the bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay now depends on the Senate, where the text was sent after its approval in the lower house by 323 votes in favor and 98 against.
The Brazilian Legislature is the only one that has not approved Bolivia’s full entry into the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), a bloc of which it is already an associate member along with Chile, Colombia and Peru.
“Brazil is the only Mercosur country that has not yet approved it. The only thing missing is that approval for Bolivia to enter as a full member. We have a deadline to conclude the vote in December and I think that is not good for the country,” said the president in exercise of the lower house, Marcos Pereira.
The rapporteur of the respective Draft Legislative Decree that provides for accession, Vinicius Carvalho, stated that, with the inclusion of Bolivia, the bloc will become a customs union with 300 million inhabitants, an area of 13.8 million square kilometers and a GDP of 3.5 trillion dollars.
“Bolivia, in addition to a strategic location, has important gas and lithium reserves, as well as other high-value minerals,” said the legislator.
According to Carvalho, Brazil is Bolivia’s largest trading partner and the first destination for its exports, especially natural gas.
Before Bolivia, Venezuela was admitted as a full member of Mercosur, but its accession has been suspended since 2017 due to the violation of some of the obligations provided for in the agreement.
Once parliamentary approval is completed, Bolivia will have a period of four years to conclude the formal accession process through the gradual adoption of all Mercosur rules, including the Mercosur Common Nomenclature, the Common External Tariff and the bloc’s rules of origin. . EFECOM