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General information
Local name 
Administrative centerHeadquarters
Largest cityBrazil São Paulo
Official languages3
Ethnic groups60% White
35% Multiracial
5% Black
1% Amerindian1
PresidencyUruguay Uruguay (pro tempore)
Treaty of Asunción26 March 1991
Protocol of Ouro Preto16 December 1994
Total Area4933535.1 sq mi (12781179 km2) (2nd1)
Population Est.267386382 (4th1)
Density (pop.)20.86/km2 (154th1) (54/sq mi)
GDP PPPU$ 2.895 trillion (5th1)
GDP (PPP) per capitaU$ 10,858 (70th1)
Other information
HDI(+) 0.827 (2007) (high) (50th1)
Argentina Argentine peso (ARS)
Brazil Brazilian real (BRL)
Paraguay Paraguayan guaraní (PYG)
Uruguay Uruguayan peso (UYU)

     Home | Country | Mercosur

Mercosur or Mercosul ( , , , ) is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. The official languages are Portuguese, Guaraní and Spanish. It has been updated, amended, and changed many times since. It is now a full customs union. Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations are customs unions that are components of a continuing process of South American integration connected to the Union of South American Nations.

Mercosur origins trace back to 1985 when Presidents Raúl Alfonsín of Argentina and José Sarney of Brazil signed the Argentina-Brazil Integration and Economics Cooperation Program or PICE (Portuguese: Programa de Integração e Cooperação Econômica Argentina-Brasil, Spanish: Programa de Integración y Cooperación Económica Argentina-Brasil). The program also proposed the Gaucho as a currency for regional trade.

Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru currently have associate member status. Venezuela signed a membership agreement on 17 June 2006. The founding of the Mercosur Parliament was agreed at the December 2004 presidential summit. It should have 18 representatives from each country by 2010, regardless of population.

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