Colombia met with the Pacific Alliance trade bloc on Thursday to share the next policy steps for deeper economic integration, ahead of the bloc’s next summit in May.
Mauricio Cardenas, Colombia’s Finance Minister, said that finance ministers from Chile, Peru, Mexico and Colombia agreed that they want the purpose of the year-old alliance to move beyond trade.
“We want the Pacific Alliance to be an alliance…where our capital markets are integrated so our companies can move much more freely in making investments in each of the four countries, ” said Cardenas, after meeting with the group’s finance ministers. Cardenas emphasized the need to simplify procedures to allow for greater system integration and trade facilitation.
The Pacific Alliance has attracted interest from other countries, such as Japan, the United States, Australia and Indonesia, who want to join. However, before the block opens up to accepting new members, it has committed to setting clear standards first.
“The four members appreciate the interest of other nations to join this initiative, but we agree on the need to consolidate and strengthen the Alliance, and define what the criteria for accepting other countries,” Minister of Economy of Peru Miguel Castilla told Colombia newspaper Portafolio.
Cardenas expressed that policies will center around a shared vision among the four countries. The Alliance holds in common the need for liquidity to stimulate domestic growth amid problems with currency revaluation, which in turn has wounded industry and agriculture across the bloc.
“To share the same vision, to send the same message to those countries and identify what tools we have in order to confront revaluation is something that enriches these meetings,” said Cardenas.
The Pacific Alliance, founded in June of 2012, together exported products to the value of $533 billion in 2012. Through the partnership, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru share the goal of free trade and a clear business interest in Asia.
- Alianza del Pacífico busca que Colombia, Chile México y Perú tengan economías más integradas (Ministry of Finance Press Release)
- Alianza del Pacífico acordará pautas de ingreso (Portafolio)
- Pacific Alliance further establishes itself (Infosur)