Brazil to push for deeper economic integration at CELAC summit

January 22, 2016 10:57 am 

BRASILIA, Jan. 22 — Brazil said on Thursday it will propose deeper regional economic integration and more trade agreements within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Deeper regional integration would be a central topic for President Dilma Rousseff during the bloc's IV summit to be held in Quito next week, said Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita, director of Brazilian Foreign Ministry's economic department.

The CELAC bloc has agreed on priorities such as integration, the fight against poverty and the reduction of inequality, he said at a press conference.

"Trade between countries in the region has fallen greatly in terms of overall value. We are reaching the end of a 10-year cycle with many exports to Asia, due to its demand for commodities. With this cycle now seemingly over, this poses a challenge to all South American countries," said Estivallet de Mesquita.

"This clearly shows that other sources of economic strength and trade are needed. This is why we want to increase the agreements across the region," he added.

Representatives to the summit are also expected to consider Colombia's request for CELAC countries to participate in its peace process, through activities such as monitoring of disarming and demobilization activities, he said.

According to Estivallet de Mesquita, Brazil has expressed an interest in providing the help Colombia has asked for.

Rousseff will arrive in Quito on Jan. 26, when she will meet with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, before taking part in the summit on Jan. 27.(PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EDS

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