Pacific Alliance and ASEAN meet to strengthen relations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

September 29th, 2020. The National Coordinators of the Pacific Alliance (PA), a regional bloc where Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru participate, and their counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), met on September 28th via videoconference, to strengthen relations between the two regional mechanisms.

Both sides had a fruitful exchange of views on a wide range of topics, including their efforts to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the initiatives developed to support economic revival in both regional integration mechanisms.

ASEAN noted that among the actions they have developed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, is the holding of special meetings within the bloc to coordinate responses and the establishment of an ASEAN Fund for COVID-19. The Pacific Alliance indicated that they are implementing an action plan to address the economic and commercial effects of this global pandemic. The Plan includes information exchange, trade facilitation measures, support for SMEs as well as e-commerce, among others.

The two parties highlighted the benefit of continuing to improve economic and trade ties between the two blocs and agreed to explore greater cooperation through the development of a new ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Work Plan (2021-2023), which will include areas such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Trade and Investment; SMEs; Education; Science, Technology and Innovation; Digital Economy; Gender and Sustainable Development.

The meeting was co-chaired on behalf of the Pacific Alliance by Angélica Romero, Director General of Multilateral Economic Affairs of SUBREI and National Coordinator of Chile, the country that holds the pro tempore presidency of the PA, together with the Ambassador of Chile to Indonesia, Gustavo Ayares; and on behalf of ASEAN by H.E. Ade Padmo Sarwono, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN. The National Coordinators of Colombia, Mexico and Peru as well as the Permanent Representatives of the ASEAN Member States actively participated in the meeting. The Ambassadors of the Pacific Alliance countries to ASEAN and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat were also present.


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Bootcamps, agile solutions to accelerate and transform talent in the Pacific Alliance

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

September 29th, 2020. The second session of the series of public-private dialogues to accelerate the creation of Digital Talent in the Pacific Alliance took place today. In the session “Bootcamps, Agile Solutions to Accelerate and Transform Talent”, different experts examined the case of bootcamps as a tool to create digital talent, and which have emerged as a response to the context, galvanizing an alternative path to traditional education.

In this second session, the leading specialist of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Juan Carlos Navarro, developed the presentation: “The methodology of the Bootcamps”, where he highlighted the importance of the innovation that is taking place in the education of workers in the area of programming and other advanced digital skills; the phenomenon of the bootcamps is the best expression of this type of innovation, which are playing a central role around the world in responding to the exponential growth in demand for programmers. Latin America must be proactive so as not to miss this development opportunity.

The panel “How are programming bootcamps adapting in the global context and how can they support the creation of digital talent for economic recovery?” was also developed, with the participation of CEOs and founders of Bootcamps from the European Union, such as Olivier Crouzet, Director of Pedagogy, École 42; Boris Palliard, global CEO and founder of Le Wagon; and Nayib Abdala, Partner and Head of Product Strategy Make It Real Camp, which was moderated by Elena Heredero from the IDB.

The conversation revolved around bootcamps and related approaches as a tool for creating digital talent: what works and what doesn’t?; challenges, opportunities and forms of adaptation that bootcamps are facing in the current context of COVID-19; in addition, experiences and recommendations for countries and entrepreneurs were presented.

The webinar was closed by the Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs of the Undersecretariat for International Economic Relations of Chile (SUBREI), Angélica Romero, who pointed out that “it is urgent for us to be able to address in an integrated way the reduction of the existing digital gaps in our countries with a view to facing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

As a complement to this activity, a Workshop was held in the afternoon where officials from the four countries talked with regional entrepreneurs about the local experience of bootcamps in the countries of the Pacific Alliance. In addition, working tables were held to share local experiences, lessons learned, possible new actions, as well as topics such as certification, regulation and financing, among others.

Digital Talent Roadmap

The Pacific Alliance countries have agreed to carry out a series of public-private dialogues in order to build a Digital Talent Roadmap in the Pacific Alliance, with specific public policy actions and business initiatives aimed at the creation, acceleration and sustainability of Digital Talent.

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Chile and Colombia share technical experiences in the implementation of carbon pricing instruments

September 25, 2020. In May 2019, in Bogotá, a technical exchange was held between delegations from Chile and Colombia where experiences, challenges and lessons learned were shared in the design and implementation of the first carbon pricing instruments in each country. Processes such as the carbon tax in both countries and the compensation scheme as a complementary instrument were the topics of discussion.

In the case of Chile, this exchange contributed to strengthen the procedures of the Tax Modernization Law (Law 21.210) that modified the green taxes that had been in force since 2017, and incorporated compensation as an unprecedented instrument to complement them.

The main results of this exchange are presented in the document ‘Experience Spotlight: South-South Collaboration. Chile and Colombia Technical Exchange on Offsets’, available in the section of the website dedicated to the Technical Subgroup on MRV of the Pacific Alliance. This bilateral exchange is part of the work established in the SGT-MRV Coordination Framework, and contributed to strengthening institutional capacities in climate MRV systems in the countries of the Pacific Alliance. Both delegations remain in contact, exchanging information and good practices to improve their MRV systems.

National Consultation Process on Climate MRV Priorities

September 25, 2020. In order to discuss national priorities, optimize resources and develop future work, the SGT-MRV coordination is promoting a consultation process in each country of the Pacific Alliance to discuss and define immediate needs for climate MRV systems. The consultation proposes convening various MRV actors who will be invited by the national focal points of the SGT-MRV.

The expected result of these national consultations is an update to the Coordination Framework that guides the work of the SGT-MRV, establishing specific objectives, activities and products in key areas, particularly in relation to mitigation actions, GHG and SLCP emissions inventories and monitoring and reporting of climate finance.

The work to reinforce institutional arrangements and strengthen domestic technical capacities related to climate MRV systems has been envisioned as a dynamic process within the SGT-MRV, understanding that MRV systems constitute a key tool for the design and implementation of effective climate policies.

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:


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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.


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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.

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