Within the framework of the “Mercosur, a State Policy for Argentina” seminar, the Secretary for International Economic Relations, Jorge Neme, stated that the bloc is an important interlocutor in view of the “vaccine appropriation and concentration” in the international context ever since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. In addition, he stated that Argentina will request Bolivia’s accession to the bloc as a full member.
“How do we see the world? How can we make projects when COVID-19 raises new questions?” asked Neme, the official of the Foreign Ministry headed by Felipe Solá, noting that “we now see a new international context with appropriation and concentration of power in connection with vaccine manufacturing and distribution, which reveals a new international scene. In this regard, Mercosur is a very important interlocutor, and the bloc’s unity is a fundamental challenge.”
Neme stated that Mercosur has completed a stage and must discuss which the agenda for the future. In this regard, he stated that “today’s world has other relations, China’s emergence has changed the world power configuration and it has become an important partner of the region due to its demand for food. We must revisit the agenda after the 30th anniversary commemoration.”
He stated that “one thing is discussing individually as regards political and trade relations, and another thing is doing it in this common space, united and embarking on international discussions with the strength we get from being united in the Southern Cone,” adding that “this will allow us to discuss the future role of our productive chains, not only in agrifood where we are provenly competitive, but also in connection with industry, vehicles, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, capital goods, satellite technology, nuclear energy, and communications.
In closing, Neme said that Argentina will request Bolivia’s accession as a full member of Mercosur: “For South America, it is vital to count on Mercosur, and we have to open the doors to the countries of the region, that is why we encourage Bolivia’s full integration as requested by President Luis Arce and we support further discussions with our sister nations in the region to see how they can join this alliance formed 30 years ago.”