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AKIPRESS.COM - The biggest South American integration association "Mercosur" expressed interest in cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, Director of the Institute of Eurasian Integration Zhanargul Kusmangaliyeva stated at a briefing before the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana on May 29.
"We are establishing cooperation with entire blocs such as the European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The biggest integrated union of South America called Mercosur has expressed interest in unhampered trade with the Eurasian Economic Union," she said.
In addition, more than 40 countries announced their intention to join the free trade area with the Customs Union. Among them are Turkey, India, New Zealand, Vietnam.
"The first country that will be able to join the countries that constitute the core of the Eurasian integration - Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia - will be Armenia. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also express willingness to join the CU with the further accession to the Eurasian Economic Union," Kusmangaliyeva added.
She stressed that the Eurasian Economic Union is the open association ready for cooperation with other integration associations and countries.
Mercosur is a free trade zone, which was established in 1995 as a union of four Latin American countries Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In 1996, Bolivia joined the bloc. The Mercosur participating countries account for approximately 68.6% of the territory in Latin America, 51 % of the population, 60% of the total GDP. Mercosur is the world’s fourth largest trading bloc after the EU, NAFTA, APEC.
In December 1995, Mercosur and EU signed an agreement establishing the first ever South American transcontinental free trade zone.