Negotiations to reach a commercial agreement between Mercosur and Singapore were officially launched within the framework of the 13th Pacific Alliance Summit, which took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The representatives of both parties signed a joint declaration where they concluded the exploratory dialogue and instructed their representatives to start negotiations.

Mercosur comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, representing a collective market of more than 260 million people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion. Singapore's total trade in goods with Mercosur countries amounted to $3.97 billion in 2017, while trade in services amounted to $2.69 billion in 2016. Singapore’s stock of direct investment abroad in the four countries was $1.91 billion at the end of 2016.

Singapore is the commercial hub of one of the most dynamic regions of the world economy, which is why it is expected that the development of the commercial relationship will generate opportunities for the trade of Argentine goods and services in Southeast Asia.

Also, the negotiation with Singapore is the first negotiating experience of the regional bloc with a Southeast Asian country (and ASEAN) and joins the calendar of simultaneous trade negotiations of Mercosur with the European Union, Canada, EFTA, and South Korea.

To read more about the free trade talks between Singapore and Mercosur, visit The Straits Times.