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Last Updated: Monday, 5 April, 2004, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Latin America builds trade muscle
Latin American officials have reached an agreement to create a region-wide free-trade zone beginning in July.

The bloc will comprise Mercosur - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay - and the Andean community of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

The agreement, which ends months of talks, aims to give the region greater muscle in global trade talks.

Latin America hopes to bring the US into an Americas-wide free-trade zone by the beginning of next year.

South American countries have repeatedly failed to hammer out agreements with the US on free trade.

A meeting of the 34 countries involved, originally scheduled for 22-23 April, was last week shelved indefinitely amid fallings-out on agricultural subsidies.

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19 Jun 03  |  Americas
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27 May 02  |  Business

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