Miguel Pesce, President of the BCRA, attended an online Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Presidents of the Mercosur and Associated Countries that was held on July 5. Authorities of Argentina (holding the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur for the first half of 2021), Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador also took part in the event.
Fernando Morra, Secretary of Economic Policy at the Argentine Ministry of Economy, opened the meeting pointing out that MERCOSUR is and will be a window to the world. He added that the main challenges for the region are to increase productivity and improve social inclusion (in one of the most unequal regions in the world) while achieving macroeconomic sustainability, and invited the other countries to continue working on these challenges in the following six months.
During the meeting, the results of the work of the Mercosur Macroeconomic Monitoring Group (Grupo de Monitoreo Macroeconómico del Mercosur (GMM)) were presented. This work consisted in a comparative analysis of the macroeconomic impact of COVID-19 and the fiscal and monetary policy responses in the countries of the region. Other activities carried out over the past six-month period were also discussed: a seminar conducted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and various academics to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the region, as well as the challenges and opportunities for sustainable and resilient recovery.
Finance Ministers and Central Bank Presidents also discussed the international and regional situation. In general, they referred to the impact of the pandemic and, accordingly, the measures taken. In terms of prospects, the economic recovery is developing at different speeds (among countries and sectors), and employment recovery is still weak.
The group agreed to analyze strategies for sustainable and inclusive economic recovery in the Mercosur, and to continue the process of modernization of the GMM for the following six months. The next Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Presidents of the Mercosur and Associate Countries will be held by the end of the year, under the pro tempore presidency of Brazil.
July 14, 2021.