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Chinese investments encourage EU to reach Mercosur deal: EU official

04-07-2011 16:22 BJT

BUENOS AIRES, April 6 (Xinhua) -- China's major investments in South America are encouraging the European Union (EU) to try to wrap up a trade agreement with the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), head of the EU delegation in Argentina said Wednesday.

"In a globalized and competitive world, all parties have to do what is needed in order not to lose market share," Alfonso Diez Torres said, stressing the importance of the Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to the EU.

"The competition between the EU and China is good, because it encourages us, it is one more factor to reach an agreement with Mercosur," Diez Torres told Xinhua in an interview, adding that he hopes talks over a stalled free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur will soon resume.

He said that the trade integration of China with the economies of the region is "one more factor to strongly advance" the signing of a Mercosur -EU trade deal, which has been under way since 2004.

From 2004, Chinese investments in infrastructure, transportation and technology have made China Brazil's main trade partner and Argentina's second largest trade partner, he said.

According to forecasts by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), China will replace the EU as the largest global partner in the region no later than 2015.

Diez Torres said that during the next meeting between the EU and Mercosur on May 2-6 in Paraguay, there will be "the expectation to concretize the exchange of offers."

The main obstacles that have prevented a deal so far were mostly technical, he said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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