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You are here: Latin America Panama looks on as Pacific Alliance moves forward

Panama looks on as Pacific Alliance moves forward

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Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, members of the Pacific Alliance, have taken another step towards becoming an engine of development in Latin America.

During the Second Summit of the Pacific Alliance held Sunday at the Siglo XXI Convention Center in the Mexican city of Merida, the four nations agreed to accelerate the pace of the formation of a free circulation of goods, services, capital and people  forming the embryo of a block "strong, united and dynamic”.

Panama’s president, Ricardo Martinelli was present as an observer.

A deadline of six months  was set for the rulers of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, Chile, Sebastián Piñera, Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and Peru, Ollanta Humala, represented by Foreign Minister Rafael Merida Roncagliolo, to sign the treaty establishing the Pacific Alliance.

The summit will be held next June in Chile, where heads of state must sign the framework agreement for the founding of the Alliance, which aims to be at the forefront of development in Latin America and become the main economic partner in the region worldwide.

The Pacific Alliance, whose population exceeds 200 million, "will allow us to go beyond the sum of bilateral trade agreements" and consolidate an area of ??"deep integration" crucial to the future of Latin America, Calderon said.

"We have a great opportunity to realize the great potential of our countries and the whole of Latin America," said the Mexican president, who stressed the need to move on a "much deeper integration in the region."

The economies of the four countries account for more than 34% of gross domestic product (GDP) across the region, and its total imports and exports accounts for 50% of trade in Latin America.

Trade all the four states of the Alliance is higher than all the foreign trade of Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, said Calderon.

Pacific Partnership is just "the first step to integrate a united, strong, dynamic" in the region "that allows us to conquer new markets," strengthen companies, attract investment and trigger the growth potential of Latin America.

"Our hope is that most Latin American sister nations will join in this historic effort," including Panama. This "can and must be the decade or even the century  of Latin America" said Piñera, pointing out that the countries of the region and the Pacific Rim are "strongly driven by strong economies and  are stable with great growth potential. "

The economies of the Alliance will grow 4.6% in 2012, compared to 0% from Europe, and a modest performance of the United States he said, noting that integration "is key in a complex global economic environment with  serious problems facing many developed countries.”