Harmonized public policies in Mercosur suggested
Uncertainty takes hold in the agro-industrial sector
Carlos Larrazábal, the president of the Venezuelan Confederation of Industries (Conindustria) expressed the need for "harmonizing public policies" in all member states of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) so as to guarantee its feasibility as regional bloc.
Larrazábal took part as a special guest in the Seventh Meeting of Entrepreneurs in Brasilia and in the First Forum of Mercosur's Entrepreneurs.
Back to Venezuela, the head of Conindustria reported that the Argentinean Industrial Association wrapped up the event as follows: "The success of Mercosur will depend on the similar development of its Member States."
Larrazábal explained that the charter of the organization "calls upon member nations to draft harmonized public policies and to favor healthy competition among members."
"Such countries have neither restrictions for trade and investment nor foreign exchange controls. A similar foreign exchange policy to that of Venezuela is being implemented in Argentina" Likewise, labor policies need to be harmonized," the entrepreneur stressed.
"There are still many things to be done. The time is now. If we do not implement harmonized public policies" within Mercosur "we will continue being a market for the exports of foreign nations and being importers as long as oil price remains high and we have US dollars," he added.
Uncertainty has taken hold in the heart of the agro-industrial sector over the Common External Tariff (CET) and the implications of free trade in Mercosur, a bloc that gathers two main producers of agricultural raw materials: Argentina and Brazil.
"The world leaders in food exports are in Mercosur. If a free trade area is immediately enforced, Venezuela may be exposed to Mercosur's imports, which are on top of other countries" Rodrigo Agudo, an advisor to the agro-industrial sector remarked.
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
The price of a package of precooked corn flour used to make corn cakes called arepas, a staple food in Venezuela, has been regulated at VEB 19, but production cost exceeds VEB 26. At present both state-run and private plants face the same difficulty of having to produce at a loss. But that's just one of the many obstacles facing those involved in putting the arepa on the Venezuelans plate.