FOZ DO IGUACU, Brazil, Dec 15, 2010 (AFP) – South America's Mercosur trade partners signed a preferential tariff deal Wednesday with several developing nations including India, officials said.

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay formed Mercosur in 1991 with the aim of eventually creating a South American common market.

Mercosur's new tariff agreement gives a 20-percent tariff break on 70 percent of the goods sold among participating countries.

A new agreement was signed was signed with Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Morocco ahead of a summit of Mercosur leaders at this picturesque tourist town by the Iguacu Falls.

It will be a last summit hurrah for outgoing host President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a longtime supporter of regional integration.

Under the leftist Lula's watch, Latin America's biggest economy helped propel Brazil to new global prominence on economic and diplomatic fronts.

Leaders at the gathering will meet with Lula's successor president elect Dilma Rousseff. She takes office January 1 and will be Brazil's first woman president.

Thursday, December 16

Source: AFP