Mercosur : Economic Research and Integration - Phase IV

The Mercosur Economic Research Network (MercoNet) was created in 1998 following an initiative supported by IDRC to provide a technical backstopping mechanism and a "regional perspective" (as opposed to the national ones) for a regional integration process that was clearly stimulating intra-regional trade during the mid 1990s. After 10 years, the network has consolidated its presence as a source of high quality research on issues of relevance to the MERCOSUR policy agenda, and currently brings together 12 research institutions from the four MERCOSUR full member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).

However, today's regional and international context is very different from that of a decade ago. In recent years, the integration process in MERCOSUR has stalled. At the same time MERCOSUR has added new member countries, has incorporated new issues into its policy agenda and has engaged in different negotiations with other regional blocs. The international scenario is not the same, either. Multilateral liberalization has halted, while bilateral negotiations on trade and investment issues have increased ¿ not without criticisms of their impacts. As a result, MERCOSUR countries are facing a complex agenda concerning bilateral, plurilateral, and multilateral negotiations. Given the new landscape, during this new phase MercoNet will broaden its thematic and geographic scope to become a regional centre of excellence for research on regionalism and on inclusive growth agendas. It will endeavour to bridge the gap between researchers and policymakers, as well as other interested constituencies such as businesses, trade unions and parliamentarians. It will also aim to consolidate its sustainability and to expand its influence.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, January 1, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Robino, Carolina

Total funding

CA$ 812,800


North and Central America, South America, Brazil, Paraguay


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Inés Terra

Project Leader

Andrés López


Red MERCOSUR de Investigaciones Económicas

Institution Country


Institution Website