NEW DELHI – The South American sub-regional common market, Mercosur, and India have exchanged product lists to increase up to 3,000 the trade items included within the framework of their Preferential Trade Agreement, or PTA, a diplomatic source said Friday.
The proposed expansion would constitute a “very significant” qualitative leap in an agreement that currently allows tariff cuts of between 10 to 20 percent in 452 commercial items, a source from the Embassy of Uruguay in New Delhi told EFE.
The source added delegations from both sides are expected to meet in September and October to begin talks.
On the Mercosur side, the deal will affect its four founding members – Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay – but not Venezuela, which entered the bloc later.
Although the lists have yet to be released, Mercosur will attempt to broaden the range of preferences to include products such as wood, citrus fruits and leather.
The India-Mercosur PTA was signed in 2005, although it did not enter into force until 2009.
Uruguay currently holds the provisional presidency of Mercosur.
During a recent visit to the Indian capital, Uruguay’s foreign minister, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, told EFE Mercosur wishes to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with India, a country he said was “strategic” for the South American bloc.