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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Free Trade Agreement? (Israel And South America)

After seeking out Free Trade Agreements with India and Ukraine, Israel is setting its sights half a world away towards South America.

(Ha'aretz) Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, signed a free-trade agreement with Israel on Tuesday, its first pact with a country outside of Latin America. [...]

"This agreement is an enormous satisfaction that will help develop our links to the Mercosur countries," a statement from the Israeli Embassy in Argentina said. Trade between Israel and Mercosur countries neared $1.6 billion in 2006. Mercosur is comprised of full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Venezuela awaiting approval to join the trade group.

Israel already has free trade agreements with the United States, so this latest edition will hopefully position the Jewish state as "the middle man" between Mercosur and the US (who have yet to sign anything with each other).

This will also open up Israeli businesses to a "whole new market," which probably will benefit both regions over time.

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