Alianza del Pacífico
Dark green: Full members.
|-||President pro tempore||Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto|
|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. It currently has four member states—Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, which all border the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica began the process of joining the Alliance on 10 February 2014. The organization seeks to advance free trade and economic integration among the member states, as well as a visa-free travel area, and common diplomatic representation.
On 28 April 2011, former president of Peru Alan Garcia organized a meeting with the presidents of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. This group of political leaders issued the Declaracion de Lima, a statement of intent to establish the Pacific Alliance. The initial goal of the alliance was to further free trade with "a clear orientation toward Asia", and economic integration.
The four founding nations of the Pacific Alliance represent nearly 36% of Latin American GDP. If counted as a single country this group of nations would be the sixth largest economy in the world with a PPP GDP of more than US$3 trillion. According to 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. Individually and collectively, the core countries of the Pacific Alliance have been deemed “The Pacific Pumas” by political scientists, for their model of economic and political development.
At the VII Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali, Colombia, on May 22, 2013, Costa Rica signed a trade agreement with Colombia, and later in the summit received approval for full membership from all the founding members. Costa Rica is finishing up the process so it can be readily incorporated as the Alliance's fifth member. 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, 2013, in Bogota, Colombia, during a bilateral meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
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 Canadian government has yet to upgrade its observer status to observer-candidate as it is still determining whether or not to become a member.
Costa Rica began the process of joining on 10 February 2014 at the eighth summit of the Alliance in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, when President Laura Chinchilla signed a protocol at a plenary session finalizing the process of her country's accession to full membership.
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.
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 reached an agreement with Mexico to sign a free-trade deal in March 2014. Panama is in the process of incorporation, it would be the Alliance's sixth member.
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 Paraguay asked Mercosur to lift the sanction. After the election and inauguration of Horacio Cartes, Paraguay has so far claimed "Paraguay would not abandon Mercosur", but assured it will seek to join the alliance. " The government has said it is reportedly considering joining the Pacific Alliance in addition to rejoining Mercosur.
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 Alliance's economic integration. These three stock markets began their integration in November 2010; this made it Latin America's largest market according to 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 following countries are full members, in the process of becoming full members or observers.
- Costa Rica (in the process of becoming a full member)
- Dominica (potential future observer state)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Moldova (potential future observer state)
- New Zealand
- Panama (in the process of becoming a full member)
- South Korea
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
- The Pacific Pumas
- Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership
- Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas
- Costa Rica firma la hoja de ruta para su adhesión a la Alianza del Pacífico La Nación, 2014-02-10. (Spanish)
- 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.
- List of countries by GDP (PPP)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Panamá y México sellan Tratado de Libre Comercio". Excelsior. 18 March 2014.
- 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.