This paper presents the evolution of commerce performance among Mercosur countries, as well as the external Brazilian commerce evolution with member countries. The authors suggest that the increasing commerce creation into the regional block requires new institutions able to facilitate the regional block by transforming it in a common market. Thus, this paper aims to describe the activities undertaken by Mercosur since 2000, focusing on the evolution of intra-bloc trade and on the participation of the Brazilian states in that trade.
The document is structured as follows. After the introduction, section two briefly reviews the history of Mercosur, while also addressing the main institutions of the bloc and the recent development of its functions. Section three analyses the commercial aspect of Mercosur, its evolution and its main commercialized products, whereas the fourth section includes an analysis of the evolution of Brazil’s state exports towards Mercosur members between 2000 and 2008. Finally, the fifth section concludes.
It is concluded that, while the increase in trade between member countries between January 2000 and December 2007 was of 124.72%, there are strong commercial asymmetries within the bloc, which depend in turn on the domestic economies of member states. In the case of Brazil, Mercosur currently absorbs around 20% of Brazilian annual exports. Nonetheless, the authors suggest that this growth allowed the expansion of commercial institutions, the improvement and specialization of labor, the improvement of the mechanisms for the proper functioning of integration in the region -such as infrastructure, communications, telecommunications and market diversification-, and greater use of technological innovations by firms.