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Brazil, EU spotlight trade issues


14:18, January 25, 2013

BRASILIA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian and European Union leaders Thursday reaffirmed here their interest in signing a free trade agreement between Mercosur (Southern Common Market) and the European bloc.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, after the 6th Brazil- European Union Summit, that free trade was the most important topic discussed at the meeting.

Earlier talks between the EU and Mercosur were suspended between 2004 and 2010, because both sides refused to make more concessions concerning Europe's agriculture and Latin America's industry.

The EU groups 27 European nations, while Mercosur is formed by five countries -- Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay.

"In the next few days we will hold a high-level Mercosur-EU meeting, where we will define the next steps of the agreement, which will be very important for both regions," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said.

Rousseff said trade between Brazil and the EU was dynamic even during the financial crisis, reaching 96 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.

Barroso noted Brazil has become a global economic power and called on both parties to work towards greater international cooperation on major global issues, especially towards achieving a global agreement on climate change before 2015.

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