Of all four Pacific Alliance countries, Colombia spends most on its congressional representatives, despite the South American country’s low wages. According to a report published on Monday by economic newspaper La Republica, the state pays Colombia’s congressmen a total of nearly $2.1 million per month in salaries, almost double the total of Chile, whose congressmen have the highest individual salaries, but in total cost the state $1.2 million per month.
Uruguay Vice-president Danilo Astori said that belonging to Mercosur and the Alliance of the Pacific is ‘not incompatible’ and called on the ‘powerful members’ of Mercosur to support an agreement with the Pacific Alliance of which Uruguay and Paraguay are already observers.
The Mercosur social summit questioned any possible approach to the Alliance of the Pacific since it is an organization entirely dedicated to trade which would distract the Southern Cone countries from their social objectives.
Venezuela “is not part of Mercosur, it was not ratified by the Paraguayan congress” according to one of the main foreign policy advisors of president elect Horacio Cartes who is scheduled to take office next August 15. Meanwhile Paraguay continues to advance it its intention of belonging to the Alliance of the Pacific.
Technical groups from Paraguay and Mexico advanced on Wednesday talks for the creation of an Economic complementation Accord in the framework of the Latam Integration Association, ALADI, which is considered the “step previous to a full free trade treaty”, reported from Asuncion Paraguay’s foreign ministry.
The Alliance of the Pacific announced this week that Paraguay had been accepted as an observer of the regional group. Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos chair and host of the alliance summit in Cali made it official during the reading of the final declaration.
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.
For several days beginning Wednesday Uruguay, as its neighbours, Brazil and Argentina will be ruled by a woman. Lucia Topolansky, Fist Lady but also Senator and third in the succession line will become interim president since her husband is off on an official trip to China and Europe, and Vice-president Danilo Astori will be attending the Alliance of the Pacific summit in Colombia.