The new distillery is a symbol of optimism for the sector after the uncertainty of the global economic downturn. The Scotch industry rose when the financial crisis hit and the collapse in demand in 2009 resulted in important markets such as South Korea, where sales fell by almost 25%. In Spain and Singapore, sales decreased by 5 and 9% respectively. There was also evidence that drinkers were selling cheaper spirit drinks — like hard Russians returning to vodka. In 2017, the AEC intends to promote the creation of a free trade area and customs union within its regional blocs. In addition, there are hopes for a common currency and a possible economic and monetary union. Developed countries negotiate free trade and investment agreements with other countries, but exempt military spending from the agreement`s liberalisation requirements. Since only rich countries can afford to spend billions on military spending, they will still be able to provide their companies with hidden subsidies through defence contracts and maintain technologically advanced industrial capacity. The Southern Common Market, Mercado Comén del Sur or MERCOSUR, was originally founded in 1988 as a regional trade agreement between Brazil and Argentina and expanded in 1991 to Uruguay and Paraguay. Over the past decade, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have become associate members, and Venezuela is becoming a full member.
22. „Through the ALECE“, a Central European free trade agreement, consulted on 30 April 2011, cefta.net; Andzej Arendarski, Ludovit Cernak, Vladimir Dlouhy and Bela Kadar, „Central European Free Trade Agreement“, 21 December 1992, recalled on 30 April 2011, www.worldtradelaw.net/fta/agreements/cefta.pdf; Wikipedia, se.v. „Central European Free Trade Agreement,“ finally amended on 12 February 2011, accessed on 16 February 2011, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_European_Free_Trade_Agreement. The European Economic Area (EEA) was created on 1 January 1994 in decency between the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EC (later the EU). In particular, it has enabled Iceland (now a candidate for EU membership), Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU internal market without conventional EU membership. Switzerland has also opted for non-EU membership, although it is an integral part of similar bilateral agreements. The first and most important is that the global economy and trade are linked to the political, economic and social realities of countries. This understanding has led to an extension of trade agreements and country blocs, all of which are based on the fundamental principle that peace, stability and trade are interdependent.