Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Munoz called for closer ties between Latin America's two leading trade blocs. Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance should work more closely together, Munoz told the 51st Mercosur and associate members summit held this week in Brasilia.
We value everything that unites us and allows us to create shared agendas. We are part of the same region. We have all proposed fighting poverty and inequality; we all hope for a more fair and prosperous future for our peoples; and we think there is no better path towards progress than working jointly, said Munoz.
The two blocs have previously pledged to strengthen collaboration and Munoz said there have been advances in the road map to facilitate trade, customs cooperation, value chains and the elimination of trade barriers.
Mercosur (founding members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico) have also exchanged information and adopted measures to promote regional trade, he said.
Munoz also took the opportunity to invite his regional counterparts to the upcoming summit between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the region's largest integration bloc, and China, which Chile is to host on January 21 and 22.
The gathering will feature a first-rate cast from China that will allow us to dialogue in depth as we look to the Asian-Pacific, he said. The meeting will benefit future ties between the two blocs, given that China's influence in the region has steadily grown in recent years, he said.
China is Latin America's second-largest trade partner, and the leading trade partner for certain regional countries, such as Chile, Munoz recalled.