Trade negotiators from the European Union and the South American trade bloc, Mercosur, say they are on course for a free trade deal by autumn.
After a week of talks in Brussels, trade negotiators from the European Union and the South American trade bloc, Mercosur, emerged to say that the two sides are on course for a free trade deal to be agreed by October. Speaking to journalists in Brussels on Friday, negotiators from both sides were positive about the prospects of forging a deal, although they were both keen to point out that there was much work still to be done. EU trade representative said that long awaited offers on market access could be tabled in the coming days. The offers had been due to come last month but were delayed, with access for agricultural products and tariffs in that area among the issues holding things up. EU officials this week made it known that they are ready to improve market access for Mercosur's agricultural producers, a move which apparently unblocked the impasse. The bloc, which comprises Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, has been in negotiations with the EU since 2000. ( EUobserver.com)