Alianza del Pacífico
|-||President pro tempore||Colombia Juan Manuel Santos|
|Establishment||6 June 2012|
|GDP (PPP)||2013 estimate|
|-||Total||$US 3,110.538 billion|
|-||Per capita||$US 14,356.84|
|HDI (2011)|| 0.764
|a.||Combined census estimates of member states.|
The Pacific Alliance (Spanish: Alianza del Pacífico) is a Latin American trade bloc, with some features of further integration. Its current member states are Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. The organization's goals include free trade and economic integration among the member states, as well as a visa-free travel area, a common stock exchange, and common diplomatic representation.
On 28 April 2011, then-president of Peru Alan Garcia organized an initiative with the presidents of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico which issued the Declaracion de Lima, a statement of intent to form the Pacific Alliance. The initial goal of the alliance was to advance free trade with "a clear orientation toward Asia", and economic integration.
The four founding nations of the Pacific Alliance represent about 36% of Latin American GDP. If counted as a single country they would be the ninth largest economy in the world with a nominal GDP of more than US$2 trillion, surpassing India. According to information from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the countries of the Pacific Alliance together exported about $445 billion in 2010, almost 60% more than Mercosur (the other predominant Latin American trade bloc.)
At the VII Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali, Colombia on May 22, 2013, Costa Rica signed a trade with Colombia, and later in the summit received approval from all founding members to upgrade its status from an observer and candidate to full membership. At the same summit seven observers were admitted: the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Paraguay, and Portugal.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expressed that the United States was willing to join the Pacific Alliance as an observer on May, 23, in Bogota, Colombia during a bilateral meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Panama has expressed interest in joining the Alliance, and is an official observer-candidate according to the website. Panama has already signed trade deals with Colombia, Peru, and Chile, and claims to have reached an agreement with Mexico to sign a free-trade deal before the end of 2013.
Paraguay, a founding member of Mercosur and observer of the Pacific Alliance, has begun pursuing free-trade deals with current members as a precursor to a possible membership application. Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur following the impeachment of Fernando Lugo. Although Mercosur invited Paraguay to rejoin after the election and inauguration of Horacio Cartes, Paraguay has so far delayed rejoining Mercosur in response to the admission of Venezuela without ratification by the Paraguayan Senate, which it sees as an affront to its sovereignty. The government has said that rejoining Mercosur remains an eventual goal, but is reportedly considering joining the Pacific Alliance in addition to or instead of rejoining Mercosur.
Ecuador has been critical of the alliance in conjunction with other leaders of ALBA, but its president, Rafael Correa has also speculated on a possible future bid if integration advances in areas other than trade.
Canada has also been mentioned as a candidate to join the alliance, and called a "natural fit" by Mexico's vice-minister of foreign affairs, Sergio Alcocer. It has free trade agreements with the four founding members, and has been encouraged by regional leaders to join the alliance. However the Government of Canada has yet to upgrade its observer status to observer-candidate as it is still determining whether or not to become a member.
In addition to reducing trade barriers, the Pacific Alliance has begun several other projects for regional integration, including visa-free travel, a common stock exchange, and joint embassies in several countries.
Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano
The Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano (MILA) currently integrates the stock markets of Colombia (Colombia Stock Exchange), Chile (Santiago Stock Exchange), and Peru (Lima Stock Exchange), and is seen as a foundation for the economic integration of Pacific Alliance members. Starting in November 2010 these three stock markets began their integration; by becoming a unified market they became the largest in Latin America by number of issuers, the second by market capitalization and the third by turnover.
The Mexican Stock Exchange is in the process of being incorporated into MILA and its full incorporation is expected by the year 2014. The Mexican Stock Exchange took the step of acquiring a total of 3.79 million shares of the Lima Stock Exchange (BVL), equivalent to 6.7% of the shares of Series A of that market. This is part of an agreement for a strategic partnership in order to develop joint business activities and development of the stock markets of Peru and Mexico, and eventually complete integration into MILA.
Among the more important agreements that have been reached is the creation of joint embassies and consulates that will help provide citizens of Pacific Alliance Members with needed diplomatic services. The Declaration of Cali highlights the importance of the opening of an embassy shared between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in Ghana, as well as the agreement between Chile and Colombia to share embassies in Algeria and Morocco and between Colombia and Peru to share an embassy in Vietnam. The Declaration of Cali encourages these countries to move forward on these initiatives.
The president of Bolivia Evo Morales said at the Foro de São Paulo in 2013 that the Pacific Alliance was a geopolitical scheme by the United States to oppose the progressive, left-wing governments of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and that these governments viewed the Alliance as being created to counterweight Mercosur. Morales also claimed one of the main goals of the Alliance was the privatization of natural resources such as water and energy. Government leaders such as Marco Aurelio Garcia declared the Alliance "irrelevant".
The former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, declared that the Alliance was trying to bring back the Washington Consensus in South America. In the final meeting of Foro de São Paulo the Alliance was defined as an "opportunistic, interventive, anti-leftness approach to attack the sovereignty of South American nations".
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has stated that the Pacific Alliance might be an alternative to Ecuador joining Mercosur, if Ecuador's use of the US dollar proves a barrier to entry to that bloc, but only if the Pacific Alliance develops beyond an economic bloc. 
- Portafolio.co (6 May 2013). "Alianza del Pacífico delinea cómo será su Parlamento". Portafolio.co (in Spanish). CEET. Retrieved 21 October 2013. "Colombia asumirá la presidencia pro témpore del organismo para tratar de acordar acciones dirigidas a la promoción de las inversiones"
- Alianza del Pacifico. "Antecedentes". Alianza del Pacífico (in Spanish). Alianza del Pacífico. "El 28 de abril de 2011, los Jefes de Estado de Chile, Colombia, México y Perú acordaron en la Declaración de Lima, establecer la Alianza del Pacífico con el objetivo de “avanzar progresivamente hacia la libre circulación de bienes, servicios, capitales y personas”."
- Associated Press (31 July 2011). "Pacific Alliance unites Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile economies; 1st step: dropping visas". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Wyss, Jim. "Costa Rica and Guatemala move closer to joining Pacific Alliance bloc". Miami Herald. Miami Herald Media Co. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Xinhua English (28 May 2013). "U.S. willing to join Pacific Alliance as observer: Biden". sina English. SINA. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Economist (18 May 2013). "Latin American geoeconomics: A continental divide". Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Observer Countries". Pacific Alliance website. Pacific Alliance. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Newsroom Panama (18 October 2013). "Panama closer to a place in Pacific Alliance". Newsroom Panama. Newsroom Panama. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- MercoPress (2 August 2013). "Paraguay advancing on trade agreement with Mexico, previous to requesting Pacific Alliance membership". MercoPress. South Atlantic News Agency. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- NAM News Network; Mercopress (7 July 2013). "Paraguay Talking Trade with Mexico, US, Pacific Alliance". NAM News Network. Non-Aligned Movement News Network. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Kenneally, Ivan (3 August 2013). "Mercosur, Pacific Alliance Battle Over Paraguay". Sourcing Journal. Hertsman Media Group. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Romero, Maria Teresa (18 October 2013). "Pacific Alliance Offers Hope for Latin American Collaboration". PanAm Post. AMTG Solutions. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- MercoPress (31 July 2013). "Ecuador’s Correa pondering whether to join Mercosur or the Pacific Alliance". MercoPress. South Atlantic News Agency. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Clark, Campbell (20 May 2013). "Canada called ‘a natural fit’ for Pacific Alliance". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Scoffield, Heather (23 May 2013). "Harper says it's 'too early' to decide whether to join Pacific Alliance". The Canadian Press. Bell Media. Retrieved 8 October 2013.