SECEX (Brazilian Secretariat of Foreign Trade) opened two public consultations aiming to collect contributions from any interested parties about (i) the possible extension and deepening of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Mercosur and India; and (ii) on possible trade negotiations between Mercosur and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”).
The deadline for submitting comments to the public consultations is December 18, 2023. Those interested in participating must submit their comments using the electronic forms made available by SECEX at the following links: Public Consultation No. 3/2023 * and Public Consultation No. 4/2023 **.
The opinions expressed in both consultations will be used to define Brazil’s position in the negotiations to be held by Mercosur with India and the UAE regarding their respective trade agreements. Any interested party can participate: according to the SECEX’s Circulars which determined the opening of the consultations, comments can be made by citizens, companies, consumer associations, non-governmental organizations, members of the academic community, members of the state, municipal or district government and others.
The main objective of the Public Consultation No. 3/2023 is to evaluate the existence of civil society interest in expanding the Mercosur-India PTA. The Mercosur-India PTA was signed in New Delhi in 2004 and has been in force since June 1, 2009, having been incorporated into the Brazilian legal system by means of the Decree No. 6.864/2009. The PTA was signed as a first step towards the creation of a free trade area between Mercosur and India. The issue of extending this agreement has been on the agenda for more than ten years. In the current public consultation participants are specifically asked to detail the trade issues that could be further developed in the agreement.
The Public Consultations No. 4/2023, in turn, seeks to ascertain whether there would be interest in a possible Free Trade Agreement between Mercosur and the United Arab Emirates. If so, identify which trade issues should be regulated by the Agreement.
The topics covered by the public consultations include information to be provided by interested parties on (i) access to the Indian and UAE markets; (ii) criteria for tariff reduction schedules with these countries; (iii) mapping of concerns/interests regarding the granting of preferential conditions for importing products from the UAE and India; (iv) trade barriers; (v) regulatory, sanitary and phytosanitary measures; (vi) trade and sustainable development, among other topics of interest to national producers, importers and potential exporters of products to these destinations.
Although the public consultations deal with fairly technical international trade issues, contributions from the private sector on the practical challenges faced in establishing trade relations with India and the UAE are crucial to defining Brazil’s negotiating position.