The heads of state of Chile, Mexico and Peru arrived in Colombia Thursday for the 7th Summit of the Pacific Alliance, a trade block of Latin American countries on the Pacific.
The presidents of the Pacific Alliance member states were accompanied by the leaders of Canada, Spain Guatemala and Costa Rica, who were asked to observe the summit and the further strengthening of the trade bloc that seeks to strengthen economic integration in the region along the Americas’ Pacific coast and boast trade with Asia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received the leaders in the city of Cali citing late Chinese president Deng Xiaoping’s claim that the 21st century “is the Pacific era. I firmly believe that at that time there will also be a Latin American era.”
The Colombian head of state added that “Pacific Asia is the new global development pole and Latin America wants to be part and partner of this development, in order to achieve this the Pacific Alliance exists.”
One of the first decisions made by the leaders was the creation of an international fund to financially support small and medium-sized businesses in the member states.
Colombia’s congress last week ratified the framework agreement establishing the alliance. Santos signed this bill Wednesday.