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The 51st edition of the Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associated States will be held in Brasilia on December 21, 2017. The meeting will be preceded, on December 20, by the Meeting of the Common Market Council (CMC), a decision-making body at the ministerial level.

The Summit of Heads of State brings an end to the Brazilian Pro Tempore Presidency (BPTP) of Mercosur, held during the second semester of 2017. Throughout the BPTP, around 300 meetings of the decision-making and specialized bodies of Mercosur were held, in themes such as trade, technical regulations, government procurement, a macroeconomic monitoring group, human rights, justice, social development, health and education.

The Brasilia Summit consolidates the strengthening of Mercosur as an integration instrument, capable of generating concrete results to the benefit of the societies of the region, based on the founding pillars of the bloc: economic-commercial integration, democracy and human rights.

Under the Brazilian Pro Tempore Presidency, discussions were held on topics that had not been addressed in the last years, such as services, e-commerce, trade facilitation, small and medium enterprises, and the consumer interest in the equation of foreign trade. New themes were also introduced in the work program of the bloc, such as the development of a Mercosur digital agenda.

Mercosur today has found a new dynamism, which reflects on both the substantial reduction of barriers to trade among its members, as a result of an effort to strengthen the internal market, and the willingness to conclude agreements with other countries and blocs, as shown by the negotiations with the European Union, the EFTA and India, for example. Mercosur is retaking its original vocation of open regionalism and seeks to more and more become a platform for the competitive insertion of its members in the global economy.

Mercosur today is the fifth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of US$ 2.7 trillion. More than 10% of Brazilian exports are destined to the other partners in the bloc, and 84% of these exports are manufactured goods. Trade exchange within Mercosur (US$ 38 billion – 2016) is 8.5 times greater than that registered in the year of the bloc’s founding (US$ 4.5 billion – 1991).

At the end of the Summit, Paraguay will take over the Pro Tempore Presidency of Mercosur.

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