Global Insider: Pacific Alliance Is Set on a Promising Path

Global Insider: Pacific Alliance Is Set on a Promising Path

The leaders of the Pacific Alliance, comprised of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, held a summit meeting earlier this month to consider membership applications from Panama and Costa Rica and to ratify observer status in the trade group for four other countries. In an email interview, Gian Luca Gardini, a lecturer in international relations and Latin American politics at the University of Bath, discussed the Pacific Alliance’s trajectory.

WPR: What are the main priorities for the Pacific Alliance in terms of trade and integration, and how successful has it been so far?

Gian Luca Gardini: The Pacific Alliance has three key objectives. First, to promote integration among its members, including the free circulation of goods, services, capital and people. Second, to ensure the well-being, equality and social inclusion of its people. Third, to act as a platform for international political and economic projection, with special emphasis on the Asia-Pacific. On the first point, no timetable for a customs union or common external tariff has been set. What has been announced is that all import duties among member countries will be eliminated by the end of 2012. This has marginal practical implications as all members already have free trade agreements with each other and most trade takes place with extra-regional partners. Intra-alliance trade is around 3 percent of the members’ combined global trade volume, and there is no great complementarity.

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