MERCOSUR AND VENEZUELA
MERCOSUR and Venezuela
From all that has been said one may deduce that MERCOSUR is at the same time a source of opportunities for and threats to Venezuela.
THE DIVIDED OPINION OF VENEZUELAN BUSINESSMEN
In fact, even the Venezuelan businessmen do not seem to have a uniform opinion with regard to the significance and the impact for the Venezuelan economy of an association with MERCOSUR.
In effect, some key representatives of the domestic business sector as CONINDUSTRIA are of the opinion that a liberalization agreement between Venezuela and MERCOSUR must be necessarily preceded by a careful analysis of its implications. This is so mostly because they do not look as clear for the country's other industrial sectors. A central concern of this first group is the effect that the strong competence coming from the larger and/or more efficient Brazilian producers may have on micro, small, and medium businesses.
It would avoid also dangerous setbacks in integration advancements with the Andean Community and, most specially, with Colombia.
For businessmen, on the other hand, Venezuelan integration to the southern sub-regional market is necessary and beneficial. In principle because MERCOSUR's magnitude has a a significant widening effect on the national private sector's economic space and opens new and dynamic opportunities for our energy sector --oil and hydro-electric-- in Northern Brazil. And then because our insertion into this market would provide us with greater negotiating capacity with Europe and would prepare us for the negotiation of the Americas Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) that should be in force in the year 2005.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR VENEZUELA
It is not too surprising that the most ardent defense of Venezuela's association with MERCOSUR is made by our most active Ambassador in Brasilia, Alfredo Toro-Hardy, as he has evidenced it in several statements and articles...