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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Egypt's long-awaited South American trade deal to start next month

Argentina ratifies Mercosur bloc agreement, lifting tariffs on numerous goods

Egyptians at a Cairo street market. The new Mercosur trade deal will remove tariffs from many imports and exports. Reuters
Egyptians at a Cairo street market. The new Mercosur trade deal will remove tariffs from many imports and exports. Reuters

Argentina said it has sent the regional bloc Mercosur its ratification of the group's 2010 trade agreement with Egypt, and the pact will go into force within a month.

The trade deal, which covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies, was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay in 2010, but it did not go into effect because Argentina's congress had not approved it.

Argentina's congress signed off on the deal in May and Argentina has sent Mercosur its formal ratification, the last step needed for implementation, Argentina's production ministry said.

"In 30 days the agreement will be in full force," the ministry said late Wednesday.

The deal will eliminate tariffs on 60 per cent of Argentina's exports immediately and phase in reduced tariffs for other products over 10 years, the ministry said.

Tariffs in Argentina on imports of beef, pears, apples and cars and auto parts from Egypt will also be lifted, it added.

The announcement comes as Mercosur has been seeking to finalise trade deals with other blocs and countries, including the European Union, Canada and South Korea, after pro-business governments took office in Argentina and Brazil.