Friday, May 24th 2013 - 07:50 UTC

Pacific Alliance agrees to eliminate tariffs for 90% of goods beginning July

The Alliance of the Pacific bloc that includes Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile on Thursday agreed to eliminate tariffs on most goods to promote free trade between the countries and increase exports to Asia.

To become part of the global economy more successfully and more forcefully, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, said President Santos

The members of the nascent group also aim to promote free market policies as the key to economic growth, attract more foreign investment and integrate their capital markets and energy networks.

At a meeting in the city of Cali, Colombia, the presidents of the four member countries agreed to remove tariffs on 90% of the goods traded between them, and to eliminate duties on the remaining 10% in the medium term.

The tariffs will be lifted in July, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos told a press conference after the summit. Santos was handed the chair of the bloc by Chilean president Sebastian Piñera for the next twelve months.

“The door to our destiny is the construction of an area of deep integration that will allow us to become part of the global economy more successfully and more forcefully - particularly in the Asia Pacific region,” Santos told reporters.

The cluster of nations includes some of Latin America's fastest-growing economies. They have a combined population of 210 million and their total GDP accounts for more than a third of Latin America's GDP, said Santos, dubbing the Alliance the “new economic and development motor” of the region.

The Pacific countries are free-trade advocates contrary to what is going on along the Atlantic, where Mercosur states have been more reluctant to drop barriers to trade, have been accused of protectionism and pretend governments should play leading roles in different areas of the economy.

Robust economic growth, high commodity prices and explosive domestic demand have lured high levels of capital to much of Latin America in the past decade. But the shaky global scenario, characterized by persistent uncertainty and low growth will likely dampen demand for commodities in the near future.

Likewise despite recent moves by Latin American nations toward “regional integration,” there are bitter internal differences over trade policy.

The Pacific Alliance will aim to gain more clout in Latin America by promoting free trade and focusing on fast-growing Asian economies as an alternative to the protectionist policies championed by Mercosur members such as Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil.

Even though it is only a year old, the Pacific Alliance seems to be gaining momentum. Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala have already expressed a desire to become members.

The group's progress may be helped by the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who spearheaded a batch of populist nations that rejected US “imperialism” and free trade, and are suspicious of the private sector.

However the group is also committed to trimming the huge gap between rich and poor in Latinamerica. Peruvian president Ollanta Humala and Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto referred to the most urgent social problems the group faces.

“Today the big challenge for Latinamerica is closing the inequality gap, we are not the poorest region, we are the most unequal in the planet”, said Humala who underlined that the duty of governments and the Alliance is “forging opportunities to create wealth and well-being”.

Peña Nieto said that the four Alliance countries and the nine observers, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Uruguay, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have before them “the great opportunity of strengthening growth and development which will lead to improved prosperity conditions”

More emphatic Chile’s Piñera said that Latam does not have much more time to comply with the ‘legitimate aspirations of our peoples to definitively erase poverty”.

The significance of the summit was also highlighted by a parallel business forum with representatives from 400 of the leading corporations in Latam, and the fact that other leaders attended the Cali meeting, among them Spanish President Mariano Rajoy; Costa Rica president Laura Chinchilla; Guatemala president Otto Perez Molina, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Uruguayan Vice-president Danilo Astori.
 

34 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Comments should refer to article. Thank you.

1 Chicureo (#) May 24th, 2013 - 03:30 pm Report abuse
Yes, free and FAIR trade...
...in the long term, everyone benefits. (well except corrupt officials skimming off profits)
2 Brasileiro (#) May 24th, 2013 - 07:16 pm Report abuse
Good! The Renaissence to South América!
3 Ayayay (#) May 24th, 2013 - 07:56 pm Report abuse
Yeay!!
4 ChrisR (#) May 24th, 2013 - 08:09 pm Report abuse
There is always a problem in trying to close the gap between the 'poor' and the wealthy and it is education. Governments’ saying they want to close the gap is just not good enough, they have to tackle the problem with money and resources for decades, just to see any measure of improvement.

Failing to educate the children of the poor is a failure of government and education of the parents of the children who I have to say seem unable to grasp the fact that only by improving their knowledge will these children be accepted into affluent society and get jobs that will lift them out of the poverty trap.

What to do about it however is a can of worms in every country of the world but seemingly more so in SA.
5 Brasileiro (#) May 24th, 2013 - 08:20 pm Report abuse
This a begin, Chris. We no war, development in peace, my father is poor, my mother is poor, but, i have job......in our plantation. Europe, so far. Sartre said: “O que faremos com o que fizeram da gente?”
6 Baxter (#) May 24th, 2013 - 10:06 pm Report abuse
It forgets to mention that Paraguay was accepted as an observer . Despite Brazils efforts to block this . It wanted Mercosur to be afforded that status ! No way with Venezuela in tow !
7 Brasileiro (#) May 24th, 2013 - 10:44 pm Report abuse
Brazil is Brazil? No have market in South América without BRASIL/RUSSIA/CHINA/INDIA/SA........ancient laws! The BRICS
8 Baxter (#) May 24th, 2013 - 11:47 pm Report abuse
One feels that Brazil is now looking at the USA and EU as potential trading partners . Events in Argentina have reduced their interest in Mercosur .Not to mention Mujica's quick trip to China .
9 Brasileiro (#) May 24th, 2013 - 11:59 pm Report abuse
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF0oJj-JmUA&list=FLmXPTu1f8AdGlizWNiASx2A

AP needs Brasil.....like water!
10 Anglotino (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:04 am Report abuse
The Pacific Alliance does not need Brazil.

It can trade with it but it would be stupid to try integration. The Pacific Alliance has a different economic model to Brazil and would be best trading with any BRIC but not integrating with any of them.
11 Brasileiro (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:13 am Report abuse
Go to México. No market, no solds, no future.....go to Peru, and developing Arica!, Go to Colômbia, brother to the Venezuela, go to end of world.....this is your place!
12 Elena (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:21 am Report abuse
I liked this news very much, hope this alliance keeps getting stronger by being pramatic and looking for a more formal integration for the region :-)
13 Brasileiro (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:32 am Report abuse
Woman? Please....callate!
14 Captain Poppy (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:45 am Report abuse
Seems Brazil is catching the Argentine flu, and a declining real:

www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-24/brazil-swap-rates-rise-on-sign-of-u-s-recovery-real-declines.html

Even the industrial outlook for 2014 is less than rosey:

www.nasdaq.com/article/brazil-economists-cut-industrial-production-outlook--survey-20130506-00320

And your “peoples” are not so confident:

www.nasdaq.com/article/brazil-consumer-confidence-index-drops-in-may--fgv-20130524-00100

No wonder Dilma was clamoring to get an audience with Obama, though it seems he is more intrigued with the PA. SA works hard to divide itself from the brotherhood it claims t have.
15 Elena (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:59 am Report abuse
13 Sorry, er sir?, but I am not into listening to irrational ppl. If you have a problem with what I said then please speak out with arguments :-)
16 Baxter (#) May 25th, 2013 - 01:16 am Report abuse
15 Elena . Good for you .And the one who said such a stupid thing is a Brazilian !
17 Elena (#) May 25th, 2013 - 02:06 am Report abuse
Thank you Baxter and yes, it seems he is Brazilian, but I really think this is more a question of actitude than of nationality. People with a bad actitude you can find everywhere. Greetings :-)

4@ agreed, poverty is a problem with long lasting consequences, so it must be deal with with long term solutions, education is a way indeed, but also employment opportunities, So far I have seen the PA interested in developing both between all members.
18 Baxter (#) May 25th, 2013 - 02:34 am Report abuse
Agree with you and 4 . We have to spend , no invest , money in education if we want to reduce poverty . In country after country expenditure on education has led to an improvement in living standards . Not only in Nordic countries but also in Asia , Taiwan , Singapore and Malayasia are examples . By education I mean real education not the Cuban style !
19 Elena (#) May 25th, 2013 - 02:49 am Report abuse
yes indeed, education is a particulary difficult matter to improve not only because of money, but also, because an educational model appropiate for the context of a particular country must be developed as well. things like population, social and economic development must be conseidered, as well as asking for quality over quantity when it comes to graduated students.
20 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) May 25th, 2013 - 07:36 am Report abuse
Brazil and Argentina have wrecked the Mercosur dream into a patch of protectionist and nationalist interests, it´s got nothing to do with good commerce practices and free trade, with integration and cooperation, but quite the opposite.
Paraguay has been humiliated because its congress decided to impeach a populist president, they were entitled to do so, that´s why congresses exist in the world, to balance the power and to bring down dictators-wanna-be and demagogues.
The Pacific Alliance is not about nationalism, it´s not about rhetoric, it´s about free trade and free flows of people and ideas. I think the Pacific Alliance learns from failed experiences such as Mercosur and the European Union, it does not seek political positions, it takes the best and brings economic integration (free flow of goods) social and cultural integration (common visas), creates efficiencies minimizing bureaucracies (combining consulate services abroad) and maintains each state´s freedom to pursue their own FTA alliances according to their own geographic and national interests. The Pacific Alliance is the future of Latin America.
21 Elena (#) May 25th, 2013 - 09:41 am Report abuse
agreed :-)
22 Baxter (#) May 25th, 2013 - 12:53 pm Report abuse
20 in total agreement .
23 Tobers (#) May 25th, 2013 - 01:57 pm Report abuse
The Pacific Alliance is young but it will probably become bloated like the EU. It will become a powerful entity in itself rather than just a catalyst or facilitator and many people will want to jump on the Gravy Train. More and more bureaucracy will be created such as monitoring the degree of bend of a banana...

Having said all that still a million times better than Mercosur.
24 Captain Poppy (#) May 25th, 2013 - 02:02 pm Report abuse
#13 do you really have a problem with women.....perhaps you do no like the fact that she made a relevant rebuttal to your seamless statement, or that she appears smarter than you? Perhaps it is your leaders Dilma and asslips should be the ones to callate. What you fail to appreciate is that as mercosur shifted and became a political machine based on the big trade deals it currently possess....all 3, and PA has remained focused strictly on trade and business. As this continues, mercosur will never get a deal with EU, USA and any significant market. Brazil will forge forward as Dilma is doing on her own, like her trip to the USA this fall.
25 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 25th, 2013 - 05:46 pm Report abuse
@2o

Keyword “Latin America”.

Not Argentina. Never will be interested in free trade with you or anyone.
26 Captain Poppy (#) May 25th, 2013 - 06:38 pm Report abuse
Argentina no longer matters to SA countries, which is why she is being shunned by most her sister countries and they ignore Argentina. Argentina is on the fast track to self immolation.....like that guy did in front of la casa rosada a month or two back. Though Argentina seems to do everything the opposite of what you say.......Do not need the word........but applies for new trade requests:

www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/latin-american-business/crisis-hit-argentine-biodiesel-sector-eyes-us-market/article12031073/

You hate the IMF but Argentina continues to function and does not withdraw.

Hates the WTO......but lodges meaningless trade complaints. BTW, how is the limon and bife compliant working out with the WTO against the USA?

You tobi boi must but Argentina's guiding light. Whatever you say kirchner does the polar opposite.
27 Anglotino (#) May 26th, 2013 - 10:34 am Report abuse
Nostrils is right!

Argentina has degenerated so much that it is no longer pivotal to any regional organisation.

But they can always emigrate to more successful countries in the future.
28 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 26th, 2013 - 01:43 pm Report abuse
You think we care if the rest of the world sees us as relevant or not?

It is obvious based on the incessant abuse here that you do not.

What IRKS you all is that the feeling is mutual. What you can't stand is that one country of 40 million has single-handedly lifted the middle finger to the ENTIRE PLANET, and actually back up the words with multiple actions to on the trade, economic, and political fronts to prove that none of your countries have any importance to us.

The world here goes on... having trade or good political relations (or risk “destruction”), has proven a embellished canard.
29 Captain Poppy (#) May 26th, 2013 - 02:08 pm Report abuse
We all know you do not care but we all know asslips cares by her actions that are in total contradiction to your words. Go get your mommas lactacting juice tobi boi.......you are straying like a los puppy dog.

She should be dropping out of the G20
IMF
WTO

but the fact remains that she needs them, but they she her as toilet paper.
30 TroLLey_to_Truth (#) May 26th, 2013 - 02:27 pm Report abuse
Why should she do any of that and be blamed?

She is just waiting for the rest to kick us out. Then it's not our fault (it woudn't be obviously).

You are an awful realpolitik thinker.
31 Captain Poppy (#) May 26th, 2013 - 03:33 pm Report abuse
I have to say tobi the tit sucking boi, you are by far the finest hypocrite I have ever read from........Congrats.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-10/deadbeat-special-unveiled-in-jail-free-4-bond-argentina-credit.html

en.mercopress.com/2013/04/29/argentina-transfers-400-million-dollars-to-imf-to-have-greater-access-to-emergency-cash

I am curious when will Argentina stop TRYING to seel to the world if it is not needed. I need a new does of....“hypocracy accoding the nipple boi the tobias”?

argentinasalvajizada.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/argentine-update-may-16-2013/
32 Anglotino (#) May 26th, 2013 - 11:41 pm Report abuse
Nostrils

You have foreign debt
You have foreign trade
You are a member of multiple regional and global organisations

How have you done anything. You are the same as you always were, just poorer and less relevant.

You export less beef - my country can export more
You import more energy - my country can export more

Lifting your middle finger to the ENTIRE PLANET does nothing but make other countries richer and yours poorer.

You seem to believe that you have some moral victory because of this. Standing proud and aloof from the rest of the world - but you aren't. You are just isolated, not disengaged. A difference that you don't get.

You are egotistical enough to believe that all 40 million Argentines share your world view. But not all of them are young, inexperienced and naive boys that are happy to live a life through the internet. Some want more for their children than 30% inflation and no hope of working.

Autarky doesn't work. It never has and never will. You espouse autarky and that is only because you narrow your temporal boundaries so tightly to a small window of your own country's existence that you think you are actually winning.

You aren't.
Argentina is heading for more economic problems.

And because equate criticism to your flailing economic model as an attack on your national integrity, you are blind. You contribute to the problem.

You have been brainwashed by your own government’s propaganda into what caused your least economic collapse. You have been brainwashed into believing that Argentina is doing well and that it doesn’t need anyone else. And quite frankly that is farcical. Supposedly for someone who is intelligent enough to get into university, you lack judgment if you can’t criticise your own government.

Argentina’s problems are the fault of people just like YOU. And you can’t admit that because then you would have to admit that you caused this and support this.

And your fragile ego can’t stand that. It has to shut down that idea down.
33 ChrisR (#) May 27th, 2013 - 01:36 pm Report abuse
13 Brasileiro

Do you remember when I stood by you when you were being abused by mastershakejb?

Given that you have told another new poster on here, a female no less, to shut up when she, like you, was only trying to join in, suggests I made an error.

An apology to Elena would be appropriate: now.
34 yankeeboy (#) May 28th, 2013 - 02:53 pm Report abuse
EU just killed Argentina's biofuel business.
Brazil isn't buying their cars
Nobody is buying their wine either

What's left?

I hope they like soy for breakfast, soy for lunch and soy for dinner.
yum

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!

Advertisement

Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!

Advertisement