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Seminar

Mercosur's future

Date: 21 Mar 2017

Time: 9:00 AM

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Completed a quarter of a century ago, MERCOSUR's regional integration initiative faces internal and external dilemmas. At the domestic level, a low macroeconomic cycle prevails while some countries are undergoing important political recompositions. At the external level, a glut of political uncertainty in some developed countries, which permeates broad swaths of the connective tissue of globalization, has been plunged into the glut of the world economy and trade for several years. The stagnation of multilateral trade negotiations is now accompanied by a marked loss of momentum in the establishment of rules within "mega-regional" spaces. In parallel, the global economy continues to absorb waves of technological innovation that are changing the forms of work, production and interaction between agents, with a plethora of consequences.

Paradoxically, this sum of heterogeneous factors offers an opportunity for reflection on possible future MERCOSUR. An in-depth consideration, including a broad spectrum of issues, could promote discussion in various sectors regarding the characteristics and use that can be given to this tool in order to improve the insertion of its partners in the global economy. Beyond a review of its history - marked by characteristics of the economies that comprise it, by wide macroeconomic fluctuations and by special junctures - emerges an opportunity to think plausible futures for MERCOSUR whose objective is to reach mutually beneficial equilibria for the parties. This is not exhausted in the very strict rules of the trade agreement - although decisions are unavoidable - but crosses key sectoral dimensions and strategic positions in relation to the major trends that play today in the world economy. The search for positive agendas for these areas is the spirit behind this seminar.

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