At the summit of Mercosur Heads of State and Associated States, the President of the BCRA, Miguel Pesce, participated in the Meeting of Ministers of Economy and Central Bank Presidents of Mercosur held in Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, on July 3, 2023. The meeting concluded the work carried out by Argentina, which held the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur during the first half of 2023.
During the meeting, the Mercosur Macroeconomic Monitoring Group submitted the results of the study on “macroeconomic convergence and common currency.” Based on such study, macroeconomic convergence should proceed in a sequential and realistic manner, leveraging on existing initiatives, such as the local currency payment system (Sistema de Pagos en Moneda Local, SML). The Ministers of Economy and Central Bank Presidents agreed on the importance of fostering local currency payments for trade integration and the development of the bloc.
In this sense, Pesce highlighted the importance of making payments in currencies issued by the bloc, thus avoiding global financial cycle fluctuations. As regards the SML, Pesce pointed out that it is necessary to continue working so that benefits such as the access to the wholesale exchange rate without intermediation spread reach those who carry out transactions, particularly, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Going forward, he remarked the need to integrate the retail payment systems of the countries in the bloc, including digital payments—strongly developed over the past years.
The Ministers of Economy and Central Bank Presidents of Mercosur agreed to continue working on this matter under the pro tempore presidency of Brazil during the second half of 2023 under the theme "macroeconomic convergence and common currency: agenda for improving payment systems as instruments for the use of local currencies."
July 3, 2023