National Coordinators of the Pacific Alliance hold working meeting

September 25th, 2020. Yesterday, the national coordinators of the Pacific Alliance, a regional mechanism made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, met virtually around a full agenda.

Among the topics discussed at the meeting were the review of the proposed strategy for the development of the Digital Market prepared by ECLAC; the preparation of the meeting with ASEAN, which will be held virtually on September 28th (29th for Asia); and the organization of the next Cooperation Forum with the observer countries of the PA.

In addition, the national coordinators followed up on the approved projects of the 2020 Cooperation Fund. And they were informed about the preparations for the PA Youth Meeting, which is organized jointly with Nestlé and that this year will take place virtually.


Pacific Alliance English Network develops cooperation strategy to improve English in the bloc

September 24th, 2020. The meeting of the Pacific Alliance English Network (RIAP, by its acronym in Spanish) was held virtually on September 23rd and 24th, organized by the Technical Group on Education (GTE, by its acronym in Spanish) of the PA, with the collaboration of the Chilean office of the British Council and the Inter-American Dialogue Program.

At the opening of the event, the Director General (S) for Multilateral Economic Affairs of the Undersecretariat for International Economic Relations of Chile (SUBREI) and National Coordinator of the PA, Angélica Romero, underlined the importance of this meeting and of “generating the inputs that allow the construction of a strategy to improve the study of English, contributing to optimize the link with the productive sector and facilitating labor mobility, also contributing to improve the commercial and economic opportunities of our regional bloc”.

The meeting consisted of two workshops: one focused on the challenges faced by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, countries that make up the PA, in terms of public policies for the English language at the school and higher levels; and another workshop regarding the challenges identified to develop a cooperation strategy in this area.

The first one was led by Ariel Fiszbein and Sarah Stanton of the Inter-American Dialogue. And the second was attended by Rod Bolitho, an expert from the United Kingdom in teaching English, who also gave a master class on the first day, focusing on the international experiences of other nations and making a situational comparison with the Member States of the Pacific Alliance.

“The purpose of this meeting was to make the formation of RIAP official, to begin building the cooperation strategy and to hold a meeting with the English-speaking Observer States,” explained Enrique Laval, Head of the International Relations Office of the Chilean Ministry of Education.

For Katherine Hutter, Director of the British Council in Chile, “the meeting allowed us to define a roadmap to improve English in the countries of the Alliance, as a key element for their development, with inputs and sustained support over time from the observer states, including the United Kingdom”.

Regarding the Technical Group on Education, this activity was highly valued since “it allowed us to advance in a joint strategy of cooperation, as a PA and with observer states, to face the challenges imposed by the teaching of English in our countries,” said Maria Amelia Trigoso, coordinator of the GTE.

Countries of the Pacific Alliance advance in strengthening their climate finance tracking and reporting systems

Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru launch national studies focused on the measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of Climate Finance systems. 

September 3, 2020. Climate Finance is a key element to accelerate the mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and is equally as important for adaptation to climate change. The Technical Subgroup on MRV and Climate Change (SGT-MRV) of the Pacific Alliance, technically and financial supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), supported the development of a baseline analysis on the MRV of climate finance investigated by a national expert in each country.

The objective of the reports was to analyze the gaps related to:

  • Climate finance institutional infrastructure – assessing its governance, methodologies, protocols, regulatory instruments;
  • Climate finance technology platforms and associated initiatives with the register.

The SGT-MRV has defined Climate Finance as one of the main working pillars in its Coordinating Framework. In addition to these Climate Finance reports; in May 2020, in collaboration with the Colombian National Planning Department (DNP), the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia (MADS) and the Financial Management Committee of SISCLIMA in Colombia (CGF) a series of three virtual exchanges were carried out among technical teams involved in climate finance from each country in order to share experiences, challenges and successes in developing strengthened MRV systems that favor climate policy design and in attraction of investments needed to decarbonize local economies.

The SGT-MRV was created by the countries of the Pacific Alliance, with the principal objective to strengthen and advance the harmonization and alignment of Climate MRV systems for the reduction of GHGs and SLCPs. The SGT-MRV reports to the formal Working Group on Environment and Green Growth (GTAMCV) of the PA. The SGT-MRV will continue exchanging knowledge at the regional level in order to advance the design and implementation of effective climate policies.

The national reports on climate finance MRV systems can be found below:


Pacific Alliance Youth Services launch call for Online Volunteer Course

The course will last 2 weeks and will be available to young people from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and to former Pacific Alliance volunteers.

September 2nd, 2020. The youth entities of the Pacific Alliance countries: National Youth Institute of Chile, Presidential Counseling for Youth of Colombia-Young Colombia, Mexican Youth Institute and the National Youth Secretariat of Peru, launched today the call for the “Virtual Course on Transformative Volunteering in Times of Pandemic”.

This course is aimed at volunteers and managers of organizations that are developing voluntary actions in the context of Pandemic either face to face or virtually.

Applications will be open until September 20 and young people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are nationals of Pacific Alliance countries and who are resident in their home country at the time of application, may register.

There will be 60 places for new volunteers and 24 for ex-volunteers from previous versions of the program who will be able to apply for the course without age limit.

The course will be developed in seven online sessions that will cover topics such as Transformative Volunteering in Times of Pandemic; Volunteering applied to COVID19; Principles of Voluntary Action; Mental Health Protection; there will also be a start seminar and another at the end of the course.


With buyers from Asia and Oceania: Pacific Alliance’s most ambitious virtual business meeting begins

Already with the experience of 2 previous virtual meetings – with the United Kingdom and Latin America – the promotion entities start the most extensive event and with more participating exporters: 10 business days and 160 entrepreneurs from the 4 countries.

September 2nd, 2020. With nearly 160 exporters from the 4 countries of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and more than 80 buyers from the markets of Australia, China, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, the third and last virtual business meeting for exporters of the Pacific Alliance began today.

The initiative is part of the action plan of the 4 promotion entities of the bloc – ProChile, ProColombia, the Ministry of Economy of Mexico and Promperu- to help exporters to face the harsh commercial consequences that the Covid-19 pandemic has left worldwide, and especially to Latin American countries.

After the meetings organized with the United Kingdom (in June) and with Intra-Alliance and Central American markets (during August) that ended with business projections for companies in the 4 markets for more than US$ 60.5 million, today begins the last one, which will connect exporters with key economies for the Pacific Alliance and in the process of reactivation of Asia and Oceania.

Given its special characteristics, volume and time zone, this third meeting is considered the most ambitious of all. From today until September 11, it is estimated that 450 business meetings will be held with the buyers called for the occasion.

In terms of participation by countries, there will be 40 exporters from each of them. On this occasion, they will only be from the agrifood sector, since it has a lot of potential in the countries of the Pacific Alliance, and one of the sectors with the greatest demand in Asia. At the same time, it is a sector that has been hard hit by the pandemic.

Academic Sessions

In order to know in detail, the opportunities offered to PA exporters by the markets of Asia and Oceania, preparation sessions were held to better address business meetings with buyers from that region, during the week prior to this meeting.

Firstly, seminars were given on “how to do business” with Asian markets and their current economic situation.

In addition, other topics that have become key during this period, such as e-commerce and sustainability, were addressed. Through presentations given by specialists in both subjects, as well as specific cases of companies from the 4 countries that are implementing this type of measures in their production and commercialization, close to 100 exporters were able to learn about the latest in both trends.

The third and last e-Business Roundtable will end on September 11, and thus will end this virtual initiative that was carried out to replace the traditional Pacific Alliance Business Roundtable, given the impossibility of carrying it out due to the border closures that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PA e-Business Roundtables have become an unprecedented initiative, by carrying out this type of meeting completely online and for exporters from 4 countries in parallel.

XXII Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Pacific Alliance

The XXII Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Pacific Alliance was held in virtual format. The participants were the Minister of Finance of Chile, Ignacio Briones; the Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia, Alberto Carrasquilla; the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, Arturo Herrera, and the Minister of Economy and Finance of Peru, María Antonieta Alva. The meeting was chaired by Minister Briones as Chile holds the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance.

Santiago, Chile (August 28, 2020) – The Finance Ministers of the Pacific Alliance met virtually in order to analyze the substantive challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to review the progress made by the working groups of the Council of Finance Ministers, in fulfilling the presidential mandates established in the Lima Declaration.

During the meeting, the ministers exchanged experiences on the financial and economic measures taken to contain the emergency, as well as strategies for the early recovery of investment, job creation, and greater dynamism in economic activity.

Likewise, considering the magnitude of the pandemic in the region, they highlighted the relevance of the Pacific Alliance as a platform for the effective consolidation of economic and financial integration between the four countries, as well as to articulate international cooperation efforts.

The Ministers agreed on the importance of adapting fiscal and financial measures in order to continue supporting businesses and households, particularly those belonging to the most vulnerable groups, taking into account that this stage has been characterized by a period of confinement longer than expected and with negative effects on the economic growth of the bloc.

Additionally, they highlighted the importance of maintaining and strengthening international cooperation mechanisms in the face of current challenges. On the other hand, they reiterated their commitment to continue supporting the flow of financing to the productive sectors, with special emphasis on SMEs; the promotion of public investment in infrastructure, as a lever for economic recovery; the strengthening and integration of capital markets, to make them stronger and more resilient to future shocks; and the implementation of pro-employment policies.

For their part, the Ministers welcomed the progress made in recent months on Financial Integration and Tax Treatment, through the exchange of experiences and regulatory frameworks among the four countries, as well as the implementation of capacity-building activities. Similarly, considering the preponderant role that the digitalization of the economy plays in the current context, they agreed on the creation of the Cybersecurity Working Subgroup, which will generate a space for discussion to reduce the risk of occurrence and mitigate the impact of threats derived from cyber attacks to the financial sector.

Finally, the Ministers thanked the working groups for their efforts to achieve concrete results in this context, and reiterated the need to continue working on outstanding deliverables for the upcoming Pacific Alliance Summit.

Among them, US$ 2.06 million of immediate purchases: Pacific Alliance exporters project new business for US$ 43.5 million with buyers from Latin American and the Caribbean

These results correspond to the second virtual business roundtable organized by the 4 PA promotion entities. The online business meetings, which have replaced the traditional Business Macro-round that was suspended because of Covid-19, have already been used by 156 exporters from the 4 countries.

August 25th, 2020. With the intention of reducing losses for exporting companies in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in the context of the Covid-19 situation at a global level and the consequent contraction of foreign trade, the four promotion entities of the Pacific Alliance -ProChile, ProColombia, the Ministry of Economy of Mexico and Promperu- completed the second of three virtual business meetings, this time with buyers from the region.

In fact, 106 exporting companies participated in this Intra-Alliance and Central America e-Roundtable, which held 433 meetings with importers from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. During one week of negotiations, and according to the buyer’s estimate, business for US$ 43.5 million would be closed in the coming months.

At the sectoral level, 85% of the appointments were for Food exporters, while the remaining 15% corresponded to the Manufacturing sector. Companies from the following sectors participated: processed food, bee products, nuts, seafood, coffee, cocoa and beverages, as well as health supplies and drugs; medical instruments and devices; cosmetics industry and personal hygiene products; containers and packaging; metalworking and other industries.

Immediate sales

Apart from the future business projections, this second e-Business Roundtable resulted in the immediate concretion of business for US$ 2.06 million.

According to ECLAC estimates, during 2020 Latin American exports to the world will be reduced by 10.7%, having China as the destination with the greatest contraction (21.7%). While shipments to the United States and the European Union would each contract by over 7% annually, these being the main destinations of the Pacific Alliance.

In this context, the promotion entities defined this second meeting in the Latin American region, in order to boost economic recovery, and through e-commerce. Today, thanks to the trade agreements signed, 98% of the commercial exchange between the countries of the bloc has zero tariff, which encouraged the realization of this virtual meeting to promote intraregional trade.

These results were the prelude to the third and last edition of the virtual business roundtables. In the first two versions, 156 exporters from the four countries have participated and have met with 81 buyers from 11 nations, leaving to date potential business for US$ 60.5 million.

The meetings with buyers from Asia and Oceania will start on September 2nd.

Pacific Alliance accelerates the creation of Digital Talent in the countries of the bloc to support post-pandemic economic revival

With a series of public-private dialogues, which will take place this year, the regional mechanism advances in the construction of a Road Map for the Creation of Digital Talent.

July 22, 2020 – Today the Webinar “Public-private actions to accelerate the creation of Digital Talent in the Pacific Alliance” was held, the first session of a series of public-private dialogues promoted by the Pacific Alliance (PA), with the support of the IDB and the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Colombia, in order to build a Road Map for the creation of Digital Talent for the mechanism.

This first session was attended by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, José Manuel Restrepo, and the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations of Chile, Rodrigo Yáñez. Authorities who stressed that the PA countries must be prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities represented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), such as addressing the skills gaps identified by the private sector, which is urgent to ensure a higher rate of employability and adapt to the demands of the work of the future, thus improving the productivity and competitiveness of the economies.

Minister José Manuel Restrepo pointed out that “today more than ever where leadership is needed, these spaces become indispensable and the Pacific Alliance is the best scenario to do it. Especially when the focus is on human talent, its challenges and its transformation into this new better normality”.

In his speech, Undersecretary Rodrigo Yáñez highlighted that the final objective of these dialogues, in addition to making the needs and priorities of the private sector visible, is the preparation of a Digital Talent Road Map for the Pacific Alliance, which “can include specific public policy actions and business initiatives aimed at the creation, acceleration and sustainability of digital talent in our countries. Addressing these challenges is essential to the future recovery of our economies,” he said.

In the course of the seminar, Anayda Frisneda, Microsoft Corporate Manager, who made a presentation on Digital Competencies, stressed that “a road map is very important, it involves joining efforts. We have to talk about an articulated plan between government, private sector, civil society and trained institutions”.

A public-private dialogue was also held, moderated by Santiago Pinzón, Vice President of Digital Transformation of the ANDI, Colombia, with the participation of Víctor Muñoz, Presidential Advisor for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Colombia; Mónica Retamal, President of the Kodea Foundation, member of the Digital Talent Program, Chile; Marushka Chocobar Reyes, Secretary of Digital Government of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Peru; and Nidia Chávez, Director of Fundación Telefónica, Mexico.

Among the topics discussed were the diagnosis, lessons learned, and what is being done to build digital talent in the region, as well as how this process can be accelerated in the face of post-pandemic economic recovery.

As a complement to this activity, in the afternoon a Workshop was held to advance in the construction of the road map, where officials from the four countries, accompanied by experts from the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the IDB, delved into issues such as the level of gap existing in the region, the key elements to accelerate the creation of digital talent, the identification of short-term actions that the State should prioritize for the generation of digital talent in the countries of the Pacific Alliance, among others.

Digital Talent Figures

The Digital Programs chapter of the study on Transversal Skills in LAC in the 21st Century, points out:

  • “Information Technology professions account for 38% of the total demand for skills in Latin America, and it is estimated that more than 1.25 million developers will be needed by 2025”.

According to the 2018 survey on Skill Gaps in Latin America:

  • 77% of companies in Alliance countries have difficulties filling vacancies despite having candidates. Being the lack of general skills one of the most important barriers to recruitment.

Based on a study conducted by the IDB on the competence and skills of the 4IR in AR, BR, ME, CH and CO:

  • 28% of companies invest in R&D.
  • 29% of companies use Big Data / Analytics technology and consider it a central aspect of their business.
  • 51% of companies use digital and mobile platform technologies and consider them a central aspect of their business.
  • 60% of companies identify STEM skills as key to their business, and 29% of these companies point out a lack of these skills.

With UK importers: First Pacific Alliance e-Business Roundtable ends with US$17 million in projected business

The unprecedented virtual meeting, which replaced the Business Macro-round organized by ProChile, ProColombia, the Ministry of Economy of Mexico and PROMPERU, brought together 50 exporters from the four countries. It also closed with concrete business deals for US$1.5 million.

Between June 23 and July 2, the promotion entities of the member countries of the Pacific Alliance (ProChile, ProColombia, the Ministry of Economy of Mexico and PROMPERU), carried out for the first time since its creation an “e-Business Roundtable”, an opportunity in which they managed to connect 50 exporting companies with 24 importers from the United Kingdom.

Thanks to the 125 meetings held, the entrepreneurs achieved positive business results. They closed immediate business deals for US$ 1.5 million, and in turn a final projection for US$ 17 million for the next 12 months.

The priority sectors for this trade meeting were fresh fruit, nuts, specialty coffee, and cocoa and its derivatives, as well as honey and beverages.

The Director-General of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan, expressed his satisfaction with this first virtual meeting organized jointly by the four countries. “As promotion agencies we are seeking to articulate our work to provide concrete support to our exporters, and thus mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19. In this sense, this first e-Roundtable is an important turn, passing our expertise to a virtual format, being able to generate enough confidence with the importers so that they can do business. Without a doubt, the result has exceeded our expectations with the amounts obtained”.

Similarly, the president of ProColombia, Flavia Santoro, indicated that “these good results with the United Kingdom encourage us to continue working towards intraregional economic reactivation. For the next two e-Roundtables, we also seek to achieve positive results with the countries of the bloc, the Central American countries and especially those in Asia, where we see great potential to increase non-mining energy exports from our countries”.

On the Mexican side, the head of the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Economy, Dr. Sergio Silva, commented that “as the Pacific Alliance we must continue to take advantage of the opportunities that technological tools give us, adapting ourselves to the circumstances and seeking to maintain international trade during this juncture. With innovations such as this first e-Roundtable, we support the inclusion of companies in global markets, reducing costs and achieving diversification in export destinations”.

Finally, the executive president of PROMPERU, Luis Torres, highlighted the articulated work of the agencies at this juncture to provide virtual tools for trade promotion to exporting companies, mainly SMEs, and expressed the commitment to continue making the greatest effort to help them realize their internationalization projects, which will continue throughout the year, confident that they will have as good results as in this first e-Business Roundtable.

Pacific Alliance exports to the United Kingdom had an increase of 1.1% in 2019 compared to 2018, according to statistics provided by the Directorate of Studies of SUBREI – ProChile.

The e-Business Roundtables were born as a way to help the small and medium-sized exporting companies of the bloc that have been affected by the interruption of international trade due to COVID-19 and its advance around the world.

This activity was the first of three virtual business meetings organized by the promotion agencies of the Pacific Alliance and that will replace in 2020 its traditional Business Macro-round. The next ones will be held with Intralianza and Central American buyers, between August 11 and 21 – registrations for exporters are already open – and the last one with Asian importers for the month of September.

All information on dates and calls is available at the following link:

Pacific Alliance and European Union hold seminar on reactivation of the post-pandemic tourism sector

At the seminar, tourism authorities from the PA and the EU discussed the exit strategies of the containment measures and the public-private work they are developing for the gradual resumption of tourism activity in the old continent.

July 14th, 2020. Today, the seminar “European Union-Pacific Alliance Dialogues: On the road to reactivation of the post-COVID tourism industry” took place, with the participation of the Under-secretaries and government representatives of Tourism of the four countries of the Pacific Alliance -Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru-, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the EU Foreign Service and tourism sector authorities from Austria, Spain, Finland and Portugal.

At the opening, which was led by the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations of Chile (Subrei), Rodrigo Yáñez, in his capacity as pro tempore presidency of the PA, he stressed that every effort must be made to quickly and appropriately design a revival for this sector, which is so important for the Pacific Alliance and the European Union. The director for the Americas at the European External Action Service, Javier Niño Perez, said that the European Union is working on strategies to reactivate tourism based on the establishment of rules that give peace of mind and security. Both authorities highlighted concern about the drop in growth in the sector, where the estimated losses of the tourism industry this year for Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are forecast to reach US$15.3 billion.

Subsequently, the representative of the European Commission (DG GROW – Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), Florencia Cuervo, presented the general EU policy framework in support of the post-pandemic tourism sector.

In turn, the Undersecretaries of Tourism of the Pacific Alliance countries presented the regional and local panorama of the sector’s impact due to the pandemic.

The Seminar then focused its development on the measures that had been adopted in Austria, Spain and Portugal. Experts explained the economic measures established by those countries, as well as biosecurity protocols, digital capacity building and the importance of developing tourism with sustainability.

It should be noted that this activity takes place within the framework of the Joint Declaration signed by the European Union and the Pacific Alliance. A second seminar is expected to be held during the second semester in order to share experiences in the development and implementation of measures to reactivate the sector.