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Monday, February 17, 2014

Mexican President Sees new 'Pacific Alliance' as the best since NAFTA

Presidency of the Republic Staff

During a joint press conference with the presidents of Colombia, Chile and Peru, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto declared that the Additional Protocol to the Framework Agreement for the Pacific Alliance, signed [on February 10], “Is the most innovative integration mechanism Mexico has signed in recent years since the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

He said that, “For our country it will provide the opportunity to create more jobs, greater mobility in commerce, services, people, where all the signatory countries have already begun to see advantages."

This, he explained, is due to measures that have been taken for the signing of the protocol such as the elimination of visas between signatory countries, which has increased tourism for Pacific Alliance members.

All this is helping to generate greater economic benefits, higher economic growth, and consequently greater well-being for the people of our nations, he said. Through “this agreement we are now prepared to make this region, which comprises the Pacific Alliance, more productive and competitive.”

He explained that there are already 30 NATO country observers of the Alliance with whom it has been agreed to find areas of involvement, integration and agreement on several issues and topics addressed, “where observer countries might eventually be interested in finding a climate of reciprocity and agreement, for the purposes of trade and services.”

On the second and last day of the activities of the Eighth Summit of the member countries of this regional integration mechanism, the Mexican president acknowledged the “invaluable participation of entrepreneurs from the four countries who have given it vitality and accompanied this agreement.”

He said that the commercial aspect will allow small, medium and large enterprises to establish more production and, “Of course, compete in this large market.”

After noting that the Pacific Alliance is creating high expectations and visibility in the world, he said that, “This is a great tool, a great agreement, of great importance and great significance.”

In regard to the Protocol on Investment, Trade and Services, in addition to the Framework Agreement signed [February 10], the president declared that it undoubtedly constitutes, “A historic moment in this relationship between the four countries that form the Pacific Alliance.”

This is the result, he explained, of lengthy negotiations and agreements that have been carried out, which once ratified by Congress, or the Senate of the signatory countries, will enable tariffs to be eliminated from 92 percent of products and services. He added that tariffs will gradually be lifted from the remaining eight percent over the medium and long term.

The president declared that during the first half of this year, Mexico will take over the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Pacific Alliance from Colombia and host the Ninth Summit in Punta Mita, Nayarit.

Before his address, President Peña Nieto signed the Declaration of the Eighth Pacific Alliance Summit. In the morning, after the opening ceremony, together with the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, President Peña Nieto also signed the Declaration on Costa Rica’s decision to accede to the Pacific Alliance Framework Agreement.

The President welcomed Mexico’s participation in this agreement, which, “Brings us closer to the Latin American region and to sister countries such as Colombia, Chile, and Peru,” and he congratulated the presidents of the member countries on the success of the Summit.

The Pacific Alliance, a new alliance that has already borne fruit: Sebastián Piñera

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera declared that the Pacific Alliance is broad and deep, since it not only seeks free trade in goods, services, capital and the free movement of people, but also ventures into areas where collaboration can make a difference, such as education, culture, health, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, the modernization of the state, tourism, SMEs, security and the environment. “And so, even though this is a young Alliance it has already yielded many results; I am convinced that the best of the Alliance is yet to come, and that together we will be able to achieve this in order to improve the quality of life of our people,” he declared.

If we advance together, we can go further: Ollanta Humala

President of Peru Ollanta Humala said that the Pacific Alliance is an enormous effort and an ambitious project. He explained that the construction stage has been completed, but that the most difficult part lies ahead, “implementing and institutionalizing it.” He added: "Although we can advance quickly on our own, if we do so together we will go further.”

There will be more investment, productivity, competitiveness and jobs: Juan Manuel Santos

For his part, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, after reporting that a total of 30 countries have now been incorporated as Pacific Alliance observers, said that the Additional Protocol signed will translate into, “More investment, more competitiveness and, therefore, more good quality employment in the countries comprising the mechanism. “What this protocol does is make our economies more competitive, which will allow them to grow faster and thus create more jobs,” he said.

He added that, “Another purpose of this Alliance is to shield economies from ups and downs, the normal storms that have taken place in the world’s international economies throughout history. These four countries in the Alliance are relatively better prepared today; we are better protected from the storms and volatility of the markets,” he said.


Presidency of the Republic, Mexico, DF, Feb. 10, 2014; translation by Presidency of the Republic

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