MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) Negotiations
- MERCOSUR is a trading bloc in South America region comprising of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was formed in 1991 with the objective of free movement of goods, services, capital and people and became a customs union in January 1995. MERCOSUR’s role model is European Union. It is the third largest integrated market after the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- A Framework Agreement was signed between India and MERCOSUR on 17th June 2003 at Asuncion, Paraguay to create conditions and mechanisms for negotiations by granting reciprocal tariff preferences in the first stage and, in the second stage, to negotiate a free trade area between the two parties
- As a follow up to the said Framework Agreement, a PTA between India and MERCOSUR was signed in New Delhi on January 25, 2004 and five annexes to this Agreement were signed and incorporated on March 19, 2005. The first two Annexes of the PTA relate to the list of products on which the two sides have agreed to give fixed tariff preferences to each other. The remaining three Annexes relate to the Rules of Origin, Preferential Safeguard Measures and Dispute Settlement Procedures respectively. By this PTA, India and MERCOSUR have agreed to give tariff concessions, ranging from 10% to 100% to the other side on 450 and 452 tariff lines respectively. The India-MERCOSUR PTA has become operational with effect from 1st June, 2009.
- The details of the India-MERCOSUR PTA are available on this web-page under the heading ‘Agreements already concluded’.
- Expansion of India-MERCOSUR PTA – Through IBSA Declaration made by the Heads of India, Brazil and South Africa in 2006, it was agreed that India-MERCOSUR PTA would be expanded by increasing the number of products covered and increasing the tariff concessions agreed by each side.
- The first meeting of Joint Administrative Committee (JAC) on India-MERCOSUR PTA was held in November, 2009 in Uruguay to discuss the various aspects of the implementation and expansion of the Agreement. The 2nd meeting of JAC on India-MERCOSUR PTA was held in June, 2010, in which both sides exchanged their respective wish list of additional items for expansion of the PTA and discussed the further modalities of expansion of the PTA including exchange of their initial offers lists in the matter.