President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday publicly accepted a proposal from Peruvian President Alan Garcia to deepen integration between Colombia, Peru and Chile, according to a press release on the presidency’s website.
Santos said that he had received Garcia’s letter, containing “a formal proposal that countries which have a Pacific coast, looking at Asia as one of the most attractive areas of the world at this time … make a much deeper integration, not just free trade in goods. Let’s make an integration of free trade in capital, free movement of peoples, let’s deepen integration much more, because now global competition is not between countries but regions.”
The president said that this was the first step in strengthening relations between Latin American countries on the Pacific coast.
Garcia said on October 18 that he had written to the leaders of Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Panama stating his desire to see the countries along the Latin American Pacific coast work towards a closer relationship with “the other side of the Pacific through these new universal systems, such as APEC [Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation].”
Santos said that the issue had already been discussed with Chile’s president, Sebastian Piñera.