What does Palestine gain from a free trade agreement with Mercosur? | Economy

The summit passed Mercosur (South American Common Market) Agreement Free Trade Stateful Palestinewhich she submitted on April 30 following a request from Brazil Paraguaythe rotating presidency of the European Union.

  • The agreement will take effect 30 days after approval.
  • The agreement involves opening up commodity markets.
  • The agreement opens the possibility of future understandings on market access for services and investment.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio said Lula da Silva“We are proud to be the first country in the bloc to sign a free trade agreement with Palestine, but I cannot help but regret that this comes in the aftermath of an absolutely irrational war against the Palestinian people,” he said in a speech to the leaders.

Pending Agreement

Dr. Ahmed Shehadeh, director of the Palestinian-Brazilian Institute (Iberasbal), said the signing of the trade agreement was one of four agreements signed by the Brazilian president with the State of Palestine but which did not come into force until today, some of which are still in the Brazilian Congress and others have passed all the voting and approval stages in Congress.

Brazilian Presidential Headquarters. Minister Alessandro Badilla, Ambassador Alessandro Candias and Ahmed Chehada
Minister Alessandro Badria, Ambassador Alessandro Candias and Dr Ahmed Shehadeh during the Brazilian presidency (Al Jazeera)

Shehadeh added in a statement to Al Jazeera that following communications between the Institute for Palestinian Studies-Brazil and the Brazilian Embassy in Ramallah, specifically Ambassador Alessandro Candias, there are four agreements awaiting approval by the President of the Republic of Brazil. Working with the new Brazilian government after Lula da Silva assumed the presidency last year, we must seek approval for these agreements that have been waiting for years.

He noted that three agreements were signed during Lula da Silva's visit to Ramallah in 2010, and a fourth free trade agreement was signed in Uruguay at the end of 2011.

He added that pending agreements included those on education, culture and technological cooperation, and hoped they could be ratified soon.

Political interests and trade

Joao Daniel, a member of the Brazilian Federal Chamber of Deputies, said the recently launched trade agreement symbolizes the international community's recognition of Palestine as a legitimate trading partner, which will strengthen Palestine's political, diplomatic and economic status.

Daniel added in a statement to Al Jazeera that the agreement could strengthen the Palestinian economy by providing trade opportunities with Mercosur countries, which would create jobs and stimulate growing up.

He noted that the agreement, in addition to the transfer of knowledge and technology and the exchange of experience, will help eliminate trade dependence on Israel and facilitate access for Palestinian products to the vast Mercosur market and vice versa.

Shehadeh stressed that the importance of the agreement lies in timing, as the Palestinian situation is currently characterized by limited commercial and financial independence under occupation, but he pointed out Export and Import The Palestinian Authority has now joined Mercosur and will be exempt from taxes under the agreement, but problems have arisen at the political level in consolidating the recognition of a Palestinian state.

Representative Joao Daniel
Joao Daniel: The trade agreement symbolizes the international community's recognition of Palestine as a legitimate trading partner (Al Jazeera)

Relaxation of restrictions

Daniel said the agreement will stimulate bilateral trade between the two sides and will also help relax restrictions on Israel's tariff privileges and trade protection mechanisms and abolish Customs Tariff Or reduce it.

Shehadeh said that at present, neither Brazil nor Palestine has accurate trade data, but he hopes that trade will increase after the signing of the free trade agreement, and he also hopes that Palestinian exports will increase in the future. They will be able to compete, especially with products looted from settlements and occupied territories arriving in Brazil, especially agricultural products such as dates.

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