10 years of a more connected and integrated Alliance with the world

April 28, 2021 – The Pacific Alliance, a regional integration mechanism that brings together Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, with the purpose of promoting greater growth, development and competitiveness of the economies and advancing the free movement of goods, services, capital and people, is celebrating its tenth anniversary today.

In 10 years of history, there have been many achievements that have aroused great interest at the international level. Evidence of these are its 59 Observer States and 6 candidate countries for Associated States (Australia, Canada, South Korea, Ecuador, New Zealand and Singapore). Likewise, in 2013 the countries agreed to create the figure of shared diplomatic Headquarters in nine countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, which has strengthened collaboration between them.

The Pacific Alliance has not only worked bilaterally with countries such as Canada, Spain and Japan, with whom it has joint cooperation declarations, but has also created work agendas with regional integration blocs such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

In addition, the work of the Alliance has always had the support of the private sector, through the Business Council of the Pacific Alliance (CEAP) and the support of international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Main achievements in 10 years of existence

Each of the 30 technical bodies of the Pacific Alliance has focused its work on the fulfillment of the Strategic Vision 2030 to achieve a more integrated, more global, more connected and more citizen-oriented Alliance, and one that encourages countries to develop in a solid, inclusive and sustainable manner.

So, in these 10 years, these are some of the main achievements:

  • Thanks to the creation of the Student and Academic Mobility Platform and the Pacific Alliance Youth Volunteering program, more than 3,000 young people from the four countries have benefited.

  • More than 180 export, investment, and tourism promotion activities have been carried out, with more than 3,500 participations of companies from the bloc in events such as the tourism and business macro-rounds and forums of leading businesswomen and entrepreneurship and innovation. These events have generated close to US$1 billion in business opportunities.

  • With the entry into force of the Additional Protocol, 92% of the tariff universe was released in a common and immediate manner, which also helps to promote productive linkages in the region. It is expected to cover almost 100% of tariffs by 2030.

  • 91,267 electronic phytosanitary and origin certificates have been exchanged between all the countries of the Pacific Alliance, thanks to the interoperability of the Foreign Trade Single Windows, which save costs and time and facilitate business development among entrepreneurs by allowing them to process their certificates digitally.

  • The Entrepreneurial Capital Fund has benefited startups with financial support for their growth and internationalization.

  • Since 2012, short-term tourism and business visas between the four countries have been abolished.

  • Agreements have been signed that help to facilitate the mobility of nationals, such is the case of the Vacation and Work Program Agreement, and the Agreement on Cooperation Measures on Consular Assistance.

  • In 2019, the Declaration on the Sustainable Management of Plastics was signed, which reflects the importance of developing and implementing new policies to promote the integrated management of this waste and reduce its presence in ecosystems. For its implementation, a roadmap was adopted in 2020.

  • The Pacific Alliance has an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation with networks of accelerator agencies, investors, of innovation and technology transfer.

  • The Pacific Alliance is working on the implementation of a Social Observatory through which the needs of the most vulnerable population are identified and joint policies can be developed.

  • The promotion of gender equality and the permanent incorporation of women in the economy is fundamental for the Pacific Alliance. For this reason, the gender approach has been incorporated into the different initiatives of the technical groups; training programs have been developed for businesswomen and entrepreneurs in the region, in order to strengthen their business skills, create networks of contacts and expand their export capacity; and in 2020 the Presidential Declaration for Gender Equality was signed, which is expected to begin its implementation in 2022.

The pandemic does not stop the Pacific Alliance

In a context as challenging as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pacific Alliance managed to create a joint work plan to reduce the impact on the citizens and economies of the four countries. These are some of the initiatives:

  • We will boost the economic reactivation of the bloc through 30 joint promotion actions that will impact around 2,500 companies in the Pacific Alliance countries. We will promote e-commerce, public procurement, trade in services, foreign direct investment and sustainable tourism.

  • Implementation of the acceptance of copies of non-digital certificates of origin in order to benefit from preferential tariff treatment to prevent the movement of people.

  • With the support of the IDB, the Pacific Alliance Digital Platform is being created to strengthen the digital skills of SMEs.

  • Holding of the Pacific Alliance Women’s Film Forum in May 2020.

  • Launch of the “COVID Challenge” call (with support from the IDB). A total of 396 technological proposals aimed at alleviating the impacts of Covid-19 in the areas of health, community and education were received, from which 8 projects were selected.

  • In the eighth edition of the LAB4 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, held 100% digitally, businesses for USD 22 million were projected and 37 service exporting companies and 42 startups from the 4 countries participated.

  • The VI Tourism Macro-round, held in a 100% virtual format, brought together 189 companies in 1,033 meetings that provided an ideal scenario for the development of business with an expectation of USD 6.7 million, of which USD 1.2 million correspond to multi-destination sales.

  • In 2020, three virtual business macro-rounds were held with the United Kingdom, Central America, East Asia and Oceania. 276 exporters from the bloc participated and were able to make contact with close to 150 importers from these regions of the world. A total of US$105 million in business was registered, as a result of immediate agreements (concluded at the same meeting) for US$6.4 million, as well as 12-month business projections for US$98.6 million.

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Colombia announces contribution of USD 278,329 for the reactivation of the cultural sector in the Pacific Alliance countries

  • The National Government, through APC-Colombia, delivers this contribution, within the framework of the 10th anniversary of the Pacific Alliance.

  • Colombia currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance and the Coordination of the Technical Group of Culture headed by the Colombian sectoral portfolio.

  • This initiative is part of the Cooperation Strategy led by MinCultura, with the aim of consolidating alliances to strengthen and enhance, technically and economically, the projects it leads, for the benefit of the protection and promotion of culture, heritage and the development of the Orange Economy in the country.

April 28, 2021 – The announcement of the financial contribution of USD 278. 329, to boost the implementation of the work plan of the Technical Group of Culture, during the 2021 term, was made by the director of International Cooperation Offer of APC-Colombia, Catalina Quintero, during the virtual conversation ‘Strategic Alliance for the strengthening of culture in the Pacific Alliance’, held this April 27 and with the participation of the Minister of Culture of Colombia, Felipe Buitrago; the director of the Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cerlac), Andrés Ossa and representatives from Chile, Mexico and Peru.

“We consider that the actions foreseen within this Strategic Alliance, such as the digital calendar on the cultural offer in the countries of the Pacific Alliance, the training activities for human resources in charge of cultural and creative affairs, among others, contribute significantly to the economic reactivation of one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic caused by Covid-19, such as the culture sector”, said the director of International Cooperation Offer of APC-Colombia, Catalina Quintero.

The contribution of the Government of Colombia is made within the framework of the country’s pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance and the Coordination of the Technical Group of Culture, led by MinCultura.

“The work plan that the Technical Group of Culture has outlined for the period 2021, is an ambitious plan that seeks, on the one hand, to continue strengthening the creative and cultural industries in the region and on the other hand, to support the reactivation of cultural agents that were affected by the health crisis,” said the Colombian Minister of Culture.

In this way, the Technical Group of Culture prioritized three main lines of action: promoting the circulation and generation of networks and monetary and non-monetary exchanges of cultural goods and services; promoting capacity building, the exchange of experiences and knowledge and the qualification of occupations of independent cultural agents; and continuing to strengthen the publishing sector and, gradually, the performing arts, music and the audiovisual sector.

“With the implementation of this work plan, we seek to consolidate a more integrated, connected and entrepreneurial Alliance, with the objective of contributing to the achievement of Vision 2030,” highlighted Minister Buitrago.

For his part, Andrés Felipe Ossa, director of the Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cerlalc), which will be a central ally in the agenda projected by the Pacific Alliance in 2021, said: “Cerlalc firmly believes that this strategic alliance will allow to fully meet the objectives shared by the actors involved, especially in the economic reactivation of member countries, through the transfer of knowledge and the increase of human capital resulting from this alliance. An economy that recognizes the value of creativity and ideas is fundamental for the challenges we face in the 21st century.

Also participating in the Facebook Live were Rocio Errazquín, coordinator of International Relations and Creative Industries of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage of Chile; Ana Laura Rojo, deputy director of International Cultural Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of Mexico and Wilyam Lúcar, director of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of Peru.

“We would like to thank APC-Colombia and the Ministry of Culture, which have come to develop a great work. We also express our enthusiasm for this announcement and the participation of the Pacific Alliance in prioritizing the publishing sector,” said Ana Laura Rojo, deputy director of International Cultural Cooperation of the Mexican Ministry of Culture.

The work agenda of MinCultura and APC-Colombia, also has among its central objectives the consolidation of the International School of the Orange Economy, with the aim of sharing with other Latin American partners, the Ibero-American region, and other parts of the world, the best practices and public policies implemented by the country, around the creative economy.

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More than 180 promotional activities, six candidates for Associate State and cooperation in these 10 years of the Pacific Alliance

Consolidating the Pacific Alliance with a projection to the world, with special emphasis on the Asia Pacific, has been one of the objectives of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru since the beginning of this regional dream 10 years ago. The joint work has focused on four fundamental axes, one of which is to achieve a More Global Alliance. And there are several achievements in this area in terms of economic, commercial, cooperation and external relations.

One of them is the promotion of trade in goods, services and tourism. To date, more than 180 promotional activities have been carried out, including eight business macro-rounds, eight entrepreneurship and innovation forums (LAB4) and six tourism macro-rounds.

These iconic events, as a block, have had the participation of more than 3,500 companies from the four countries and generated business expectations for close to USD 1 billion. By 2021, the joint promotion plan contemplates 11 strategic pillars to be developed through more than 30 actions, which focus on key aspects to contribute to the secure reactivation of the region’s economy, including topics such as: public procurement, e-commerce, attracting foreign investment and tourism.

Meanwhile, thanks to the establishment of the Cooperation Fund, 4 projects were approved last year for the socio-economic reactivation of the region in the face of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These were in the areas of job training, social development, tourism promotion and teacher training, for an amount of nearly US$432,000. Likewise, with the observer States, cooperation has been sought to be boosted. Therefore, since 2019, two Cooperation Forums have been held to consolidate the support that these partners have given to the Alliance.

In external relations, substantial progress is being made in the process of converting Singapore into an associate state of the Pacific Alliance, and the terms of reference that will guide negotiations with Ecuador and South Korea have already been finalized. Together with Australia, Canada and New Zealand, this makes them the six candidates for associate status in the Pacific Alliance.

These countries are important players on the world scene, especially in Asia-Pacific, and would represent an opportunity for the Alliance to increase the volume of exports with a view to greater diversification of markets, products and global value chains, with a population of more than 70 million consumers with high purchasing power.

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VIII version of LAB4+: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Meeting of the Pacific Alliance projects business for US$ 22 million

Challenges that the pandemic has installed in the region motivate startups and exporters from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to offer more innovative and creative solutions.

The difficulties imposed by the pandemic on global trade have been taken as an opportunity for hundreds of Latin American startups to develop innovations and projects with greater creativity, allowing companies to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

This was one of the conclusions of the eighth version of the Pacific Alliance Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, LAB4+, organized by the bloc’s promotion entities (ProChile, ProColombia, the Mexican Ministry of Economy and Promperú), which was developed in a 100% digital format, with the participation of technology companies from the AgroTech, EduTech, FinTech and HealthTech sectors of the four countries that make up this bloc.

“Without a doubt, 2020 has been a tremendously challenging year. Both for our companies and startups, and for us as promotion entities, we have had to innovate in order to continue connecting them with the world. In this sense, the fact that there are projected businesses for US$ 22 million in LAB4+ speaks positively of the work done, as well as of the dynamism and interest generated by the innovation of service companies and startups in the region” explained the General Director of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan.

Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia, said that “this meeting gained greater importance due to the current circumstances and there we were able to demonstrate the steps that the bloc has taken in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. We celebrate these results and we are going for more, with the aim of providing greater solutions to the pandemic and that our companies continue to grow in international business”.

Dr. Sergio Silva, Head of the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, commented that “There could not be a more appropriate activity to conclude a year characterized by the digital adaptation of companies and governments than LAB4+ with its business innovation component. The participation of Mexican companies and start ups was very outstanding, both in the call for papers and in the results of the Forum. We continue working so that MSMEs can find new financing and business opportunities in the regional bloc and in North America”.

For his part, the Executive President of PROMPERÚ, Luis Torres, highlighted the participation of Peruvian companies in LAB4+, which achieved the highest commercial projections in the bloc with almost US$ 10 million as a result of 77 appointments between the service business rounds and the round of investors with the startups, thus demonstrating the valuable contribution of the Pacific Alliance in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation among its member companies.

In this edition, 37 service exporting companies and 42 startups from the 4 countries participated. The latter also participated in mentoring days for two weeks to participate in pitch sessions with investors from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Canada.

The topics of entrepreneurship and innovation have become a key aspect in promoting internationally the exportable offer of each country and as a Technical Group, since the origins of the bloc, the development of an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation within the PA has been promoted. The focus is on enhancing the internationalization of an offer with high added value, disruptive, and with potential for scaling up.

This activity is key to the internationalization of startups and service companies from member countries, and the objective of this meeting is to strengthen and generate commercial ties between exporters and buyers of the productive chain of industries and services 4.0 and to promote the raising of capital among entrepreneurs and private investment funds.

With Declaration on Gender Equality and the Digital Market of the bloc concludes the Pacific Alliance Summit

On the occasion, Chile transferred the pro tempore presidency of the regional mechanism to Colombia after 16 months of management.

Santiago, December 11, 2020. Today the XV Summit of the Pacific Alliance was held. The meeting was led by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, who was accompanied in person by the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, and virtually by the Presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Peru, Francisco Sagasti.

During the Summit, the presidents signed the Santiago Declaration, which expresses their “deep regret for the loss of thousands of human lives in the region, as well as the loss of millions of jobs and the increase in poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” their commitment to “continue working together to recover from the effects generated by COVID-19 and overcome its economic and social impacts,” and their “recognition for the prompt development and implementation of the COVID-19 Action Plan” of the Pacific Alliance.

In the Declaration, the presidents also thanked the observer states, regional mechanisms and international organizations for their participation in the Second Technical Cooperation Forum 2020 and highlighted the adoption of the Joint Declaration on a Partnership between the States Parties to the Framework Agreement of the Pacific Alliance and the European Union, signed on September 25, 2019, which made it possible to share experiences regarding economic recovery in the face of COVID-19.

They highlighted the launch of the Pacific Alliance web platform, developed in conjunction with the IDB, and the implementation of the Roadmap on Improving Management of the bloc, “which will allow for more efficient work, with clearer roles and permanent monitoring of mandates.

They also indicate their agreement with “the approval of the Roadmap of the Presidential Declaration on Sustainable Management of Plastics, signed in Lima in July 2019, which will allow the implementation of actions aimed at reducing the impact of single-use plastics on our environment”.

Inspired to achieve the goal of the Pacific Alliance to promote greater growth, development and competitiveness of the economies of the countries that make up the Alliance, with a view to achieving greater well-being, overcoming socio-economic inequality and social inclusion of their people, the Presidents signed the Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on Gender Equality, which is accompanied by a roadmap to identify priority areas for action and goals in terms of economic empowerment to guide the work of the Pacific Alliance in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies and initiatives to promote the economic and social development of women in the region, as well as the adoption of regulations to eliminate barriers to women’s access to capital and credit; to have measures that ensure that men and women have equal rights and opportunities in the workplace; to increase the regional balance of women in decision-making positions; to increase the regional balance of women graduates in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Presidents also declared their firm intention to advance the implementation of the Strategy for a Regional Digital Market within the framework of the Pacific Alliance, to improve access to digital commerce; create an enabling environment to promoting digital commerce and boost the digital economy to generate new sources of growth and productivity, by signing the Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on the development of the Regional Digital Market and the drive towards Digital Transformation. The Regional Digital Market will allow, particularly SMEs, to expand their opportunities through actions aimed at reducing trade barriers and the use of digital tools for their international insertion.

During the Summit, the highest authorities of the Pacific Alliance held a meeting with the President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, a country that is applying to become a full member of the regional mechanism.

They also met with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, a Candidate country for Associated State of the Pacific Alliance with which a substantial closure of negotiations has been reached.

In addition, they held virtual meetings with the members of the Pacific Alliance Business Council (CEAP, by its acronym in Spanish) and with representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

See Presidential Declaration of Santiago
Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on Gender Equality
Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on the development of the Regional Digital Market and the drive towards Digital Transformation

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Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance meets in preparation for the Presidential Summit of the mechanism

During the meeting, the ministers adopted the Roadmap to implement the Presidential Declaration on Sustainable Management of Plastics.

December 10, 2020 – The last meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance, composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, was held in a semi-presential format, in preparation for the XV Summit of Heads of State to be held this Friday, December 11, at the Palacio de la Moneda.

The meeting, which was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Andrés Allamand, was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Claudia Blum, and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Elizabeth Astete. Via telematics were the Minister of Foreign Trade of Peru, Claudia Cornejo; and for Mexico, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, and Secretary of Economy, Graciela Márquez.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Andres Allamand highlighted that “we are pleased to present the year and a half of the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance with great achievements, despite the contingencies we have faced with the global health crisis. Among these, the strategy to have a regional digital market, the insertion of women in the economy, the development of a more sustainable common space and a joint work plan that seeks to mitigate the adverse effects of the health crisis stand out. In addition, with an improvement in management according to the times we are living that brings benefits to our citizens”.

During the session, the Council of Ministers adopted the Roadmap towards a Sustainable Management of Plastics, which aims to implement the Presidential Declaration signed at the XIV Lima Summit, where it is agreed to work in eight areas of action: Regulation, good practices and public policies; Innovation, research and business transformation; Plastic waste management and recycling; Circular economy; Financing; Education, information and citizen transformation; Commerce; and International cooperation.

The Council also received the report on the work developed by the High Level Group (GAN, by its acronym in Spanish), highlighting the Declarations and roadmaps that will be signed at the Summit of Presidents regarding the Regional Digital Market and Gender Equality. The authorities also addressed the report on the Additional Protocol, the decisions adopted by the Free Trade Commission and Regulatory Annexes, among other matters.

During the meeting, information was also given on the holding of the II Cooperation Forum PA, where representatives of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru met with 226 delegates from 49 countries, representatives of the Observer States of the PA, the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) and ASEAN. Among the most important areas for exploring possible joint cooperation projects are global value chains, education, gender, environment, digital agenda, disaster management and artificial intelligence, among others.

The ministers also approved the Work Plan of the Cooperation Fund for 2021 for one million dollars, the same amount executed in 2020, and which benefited projects related to the support of citizens in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan for next year, which will be focused on reducing social and educational gaps and moving towards economic reactivation, includes: a Youth Volunteer Program of the Pacific Alliance; workshops for the Management of Psychosocial Factors and Promotion of Mental Health at Work; and a Workshop for the formulation of the Disaster Risk Management Project.

The authorities additionally received the report of the Finance Ministers of the PA and the report of the V Pacific Alliance Youth Meeting. This event actively convened nearly 25,000 young people from the four countries.

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The last meeting of Vice Ministers of the Pacific Alliance is held prior to the Presidential Summit of the regional bloc

December 9, 2020. Today was the last meeting of the High Level Group (GAN, by its acronym in Spanish) of the Pacific Alliance, prior to the Presidential Summit to be held on Friday, December 11, at the Palacio de La Moneda, where Chile will transfer the pro tempore presidency to Colombia.

The meeting was held in a semi-presential format with the participation of the Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Chile and Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

During the session, the GAN reviewed the Declarations and roadmaps that will be signed at the Summit of Presidents regarding the Regional Digital Market, Gender Equality and also the roadmap on Sustainable Management of Plastics, which will be signed by the ministers on Thursday. Likewise, the authorities of the bloc addressed the status of the situation and the Work Plan of the Cooperation Fund 2021, the distribution of the coordination of the technical groups for 2021, the report on the Additional Protocol, the decisions adopted by the Free Trade Commission and Regulatory Annexes, among other matters.

The Undersecretary of International Economic Relations, Rodrigo Yáñez, highlighted that in the context of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 “The Pacific Alliance has reinforced its objectives, taking a leap into digital through the launch of the Regional Digital Market, in addition to reinforcing its commitment to the incorporation of women in/into trade and with sustainability, essential elements to advance towards a sustainable economic recovery of the region”.

In addition to the authority of SUBREI, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Carolina Valdivia; and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Adriana Mejía, were present. The Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Colombia, Laura Valdivieso, the Undersecretaries of Foreign Affairs, Maximiliano Reyes, and of Economy, Luz María de la Mora of Mexico; and the Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Talavera, and of Foreign Trade, Diego Llosa, from Peru, connected via telematics.

Chile assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance on July 6, 2019 at the Summit of Presidents in Lima, Peru, and due to the pandemic, the members decided to extend it exceptionally until December 2020. Since March, all meetings of technical groups, committees, national coordinators and the High Level Group have been carried out virtually, which add up to about 500 to date.

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Professionals from the Pacific Alliance countries will carry out training courses on specific MRV subjects

Thanks to the support of Environmental and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), more than 30 professionals from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru will initiate a series of training courses and updating of knowledge on MRV. The courses will be taught by GHG Management Institute under the e-learning modality. Among the topics that will be taught are the measurement of GHG for forestry projects and land use; renewable energy projects and industrial processes.

The trainings are contextualized in the work of the Technical Subgroup on MRV of the Pacific Alliance (SGT-MRV), which has among its objectives the permanent strengthening of capacities within the institutions in charge of designing and implementing climate policy in each of the member countries.

Second Dialogue between the Pacific Alliance and the European Union on the reactivation of the tourism sector

About 25 representatives of the public and private tourism sectors of the countries of the Pacific Alliance and the European Union discussed how to recover tourism.

December 2, 2020 – The Pacific Alliance (PA) and the European Union (EU) jointly organized the conference “Dialogues for a sustainable and digital post-COVID recovery of the tourism industry”, with the aim of improving knowledge and sharing experiences to mitigate the global impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector. The conference took place in virtual format on December 1 and 2, 2020.

The PA and the EU are committed to promoting a post-COVID recovery of the tourism sector, emphasizing a more digitized and sustainable sector. Tourism is of key importance to/in the economies of both blocs and has been severely affected by the pandemic. Losses are estimated at US$15 billion in the AP countries this year and the arrival of international tourists to Europe shows a reduction of about 60% in 2020, compared to data from 2019.

During the event, perspectives were exchanged and experiences shared between the public and private sectors to overcome and facilitate the recovery of the activity. Emphasis was placed on SMEs, which represent approximately 90% of business in both blocs.

At the opening, Brian Glynn, Executive Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the EU, noted that “the EU and the Pacific Alliance are well positioned to work together on the sustainable and digital recovery of the tourism sector. The digital economy and environmental issues are the main priorities in our cooperation”.

“We find this second event key, with which we are learning first-hand the experience of the result of the measures adopted after the summer season in the European continent, and which will help us prepare for the summer in the southern hemisphere,” said Angélica Romero, Director General (S) of Multilateral Economic Affairs, SUBREI, of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who participated in her capacity as representative of the pro tempore presidency of Chile of the Pacific Alliance.

The list of high-level speakers included representatives from the European Commission (DG GROW), tourism sector authorities from France, Spain, Portugal and the Alliance countries, as well as representatives from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Also present were some of the major EU tourism associations and private sector representatives from the PA who exchanged positions on the best strategies to support the recovery of the tourism industry.

In addition, during the Dialogue, companies that have developed successful experiences with sustainable and digital models in their businesses shared solutions for the sector.

The national director of Sernatur, Andrea Wolleter, valued the event and said that “this type of dialogue allows us to build the bridges that our industry needs, because it not only brings together a global problem, but also allows us to gather successful experiences and design strategies that help us recover our industry and boost the economy of our countries.

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Comparative Analysis of Systems for the Assessment and Certification of Labor Competences in the Pacific Alliance launched

December 1, 2020. Today was the launch of the Comparative Analysis of Systems for the Assessment and Certification of People’s Labour Competences in the Countries of the Pacific Alliance, where nearly 120 people participated, representatives of different public and private entities from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, as well as delegates from the EuroSociAL+ Programme and representatives from the European Union.

The presentation of this Comparative Analysis is the result of the fulfillment of the commitments acquired by the Technical Labor Group (GTL, by its acronym in Spanish) of the PA in the Lima Declaration signed in the framework of the XIV Presidential Summit, held in July 2019. On that occasion, the labor mandate was established to “prepare a comparative report on labour skills assessment and certification systems in the countries of the Pacific Alliance, as a first step towards the development of a roadmap to standardize the certification systems”. 

To carry out this task, a Network of Experts in the certification of labor competencies was created within the GTL, made up of representatives from the Commission of the National System of Certification of Labor Competencies of Chile, ChileValora; the National Learning Service of Colombia, SENA; the National Council for Standardization and Certification of Labor Competences of Mexico, CONOCER; and the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion of Peru; which has received technical and financial support from EuroSociAL+ to prepare this report.

At the opening of the event, jointly organized by the GTL, its Network of Experts in Certification of Labour Competences and delegates from the EuroSociAL+ Programme, authorities representing the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance and the European Commission highlighted the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation within the Alliance.

Subsequently, the Vice Minister of Employment and Pensions of the Ministry of Labor of Colombia, Andrés Felipe Uribe, and the Executive Secretary of ChileValora, Francisco Silva Bafalluy, referred to the importance of the Homologation of Labor Certifications for the Development of the Pacific Alliance, taking into account the challenges within the Alliance to promote labor mobility and create strategies that facilitate labor insertion or continuity of studies in the countries of the Alliance.

Next, the representatives of the EuroSociAL+ Programme, Andrea Carlo Monaco, senior technician of the Social Policies Area of the EuroSociAL+ Programme, and Gloria Arredondo, one of the consultants hired by this entity for the development of the study, presented the main conclusions and recommendations of the Comparative Analysis, understanding that the development of this initiative contributes to the objective of the Alliance to achieve the free transit of people, in particular from the labor area, since it will facilitate mobility within the labor markets, improving the conditions of income and recognition of work experiences.

Taking into account the growing intraregional migration in Latin America, which is largely due to labor reasons, and the impacts of the pandemic on the world of work, Rodrigo Rojas Navarrete, General Director of CONOCER of Mexico, and Elizabeth Cornejo Maldonado, Director of Standardization and Certification of Labor Competencies of the Ministry of Labor and Promotion of Employment of Peru, commented on the challenges for the certification systems for the countries of the Pacific Alliance, specifically the importance of creating conditions for migrants to have their labor and professional skills recognized, as an instrument to facilitate their labor insertion and/or the continuity of studies in the destination countries.

Finally, the Director of the National System of Training for Work of SENA Colombia, William Orozco, closed the event by talking about the future perspectives of national competence certification systems and the importance of continuing the work of the Network of Experts in benefit of the articulation of the certification systems of the four countries.

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