The Pacific Alliance commemorated its 10th Anniversary with a Presidential Panel

With the participation of the President of Colombia, Iván Duque; the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera; the President of Peru, Francisco Sagasti, and the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Tatiana Clouthier, last Friday, April 30, the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the creation of the Pacific Alliance (PA) was held virtually.

The event began with welcoming remarks by President Iván Duque, who in his capacity as president pro tempore referred to the progress made in strengthening intra-regional trade, investment diversification, structural steps in environmental matters such as the agreement for the protection of the oceans, the elimination of tourism and business visas facilitating the mobility of people and the instruments for digital transformation. “Today we have set the roadmap for the Digital Market within the Pacific Alliance,” the President emphasized.

The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, told how the idea of the Alliance was born and stressed that seeking integration not only inward but also outward is what has allowed it to be so successful. He also pointed out the tasks ahead in this new decade: to increase intra-regional trade and make rules of origin more flexible, accelerate the incorporation of the associated States, advance in the convergence with Mercosur, in the incorporation of women and SMEs and promote the digital economy and the technological revolution, especially in the post-pandemic scenario. “I call on the Pacific Alliance, along with celebrating its first 10 years, to make a firm resolution that the next 10 years will be better,” said the Chilean President.

The President of Peru, Francisco Sagasti, also referred to the openness, breadth, pragmatism and operability as qualities of the Pacific Alliance and focused his speech on the challenges of the next decade based on the 2030 vision: the promotion of science, technology and innovation, the use of technology not only in terms of the digital economy but also related to the environment, the empowerment of women, the closing of gender gaps and the strengthening of the relationship with ASEAN, APEC and our traditional partners in Latin America, Europe and North America. “We must consolidate the positioning of the PA as the main platform for multidimensional integration in Latin America,” said Sagasti.

The Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Tatiana Clouthier, pointed out that regional integration is a priority tool to face common challenges and that solidarity multilateralism is fundamental to move forward in the current crisis scenario resulting from Covid-19. In addition, she spoke about the issues on which the work of the PA has focused and on which work must be prioritized in the next decade, such as the implementation of a Regional Digital Market, the empowerment of women, the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, the reactivation of tourism, youth employability, among others. “We have the conviction that these actions will allow us to have more integrated, more global, more connected societies and, above all, closer to the needs of citizens,” said the Secretary of Economy.

After the intervention of the representatives of each country, each one answered the questions posed by the moderator Andrea Bernal, related to the importance of the Pacific Alliance in the economic reactivation in the current situation, the main assets and challenges of the mechanism, intra-regional trade integration, incentives for entrepreneurship, the associated States, the incorporation of environmental and circular economy issues, the initiatives in terms of employability and job training, and the advantages of working with other economic blocs such as ASEAN and APEC.

The event was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Claudia Blum, and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo, who referred to the achievements of the Alliance over the past 10 years and ratified their commitment to continue working for a more integrated, more connected, more citizen-oriented and more global Alliance.

Household cleaning products within the Pacific Alliance will circulate under the same rules of the game

April 30, 2021 – The Ministers of Trade of the member countries of the Pacific Alliance – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – signed Decision number 11, through which they harmonize technical and sanitary requirements and eliminate those considered unnecessary for the trade of cleaning products between the four countries.

This is one more step in the facilitation of trade within the integration mechanism, which contributes to the consolidation of deep integration and the increase of trade, in the search for the reactivation of these economies.

The signing of this Decision resulted from the meeting of the Free Trade Commission of the Pacific Alliance, which took place within the framework of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the creation of the integration mechanism, during the pro tempore presidency of Colombia.

The decision eliminates technical barriers to trade in this type of products, such as, for example, that none of the four countries will require a certificate of free sale for their commercialization in any of the territories. They also agreed to adopt or strengthen a model based on market surveillance, based on international regulatory best practices.

The countries also harmonized the requirements to be met by the labels of cleaning products, which translates into the elimination of additional costs caused by relabeling when importing some of these goods from these countries.

Likewise, the effort of the countries in the commitment to eliminate the Mandatory Health Notification number and the sanitary registration number on the labeling of these products, within a period of 3 years, is highlighted.

This regulatory harmonization applies to household cleaning products whose purpose is to remove dirt, aromatize or deodorize the environment, protect, care for, clean, wash, condition, disinfect or sanitize objects, utensils, fabrics, clothing, furniture and surfaces in different areas of the home or similar facilities.


Marketing and Communications Network participates in first strategic marketing training session given by Canada

In order to develop skills for the implementation of a strategic marketing plan for a technical and professional education and training awareness campaign that will benefit the Pacific Alliance, Canadian partners will provide a series of 6-8 training sessions for members of the Marketing and Communications Network.

The first module, which took place on April 26 and 28, focused on developing research skills that will help participants to:

  1. Collect and evaluate social data to build effective profiles of their identity, that of their customers and influencers.

  2. Assess public perception of their brand identity.

  3. Make recommendations that clarify their internal and external brand identity from the data collected.

  4. Create effective cultural and social identities that reflect linguistic frameworks for communication design based on the social constructs of the target markets (clear psychographic profiles).

  5. Assess the current media landscape to determine the most effective communication tools to reach a target audience.

  6. Access the resources of traditional research tools.

These sessions are also an opportunity to share experiences, learnings, best practices and possibly resources across networks. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the training modules.

This training program responds to the needs and objectives set out in the Terms of Reference of the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program, developed by the Technical Group of Education, and is funded by the Government of Canada.

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Virtual Meeting of Women Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Alliance

April 28, 2021. – On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Pacific Alliance (PA) and in follow-up to the recently adopted Presidential Declaration of the Pacific Alliance on Gender Equality[1], and its Roadmap for the autonomy and economic empowerment of women in the PA, the Gender Technical Group (GTG) with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), held this April 28, 2021, the virtual meeting of women entrepreneurs, “Economic empowerment of women in the Pacific Alliance: Challenges in the face of the covid-19 pandemic towards inclusive recovery”.

This meeting was held in order to make visible the importance of identifying the gaps and the effects that the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has generated in women entrepreneurs in the four countries of the bloc, recognizing that it is crucial that the States contemplate an inclusive recovery without leaving anyone behind. The event opened a space for discussion and exchange for women entrepreneurs of the Pacific Alliance with a view to identifying and analyzing the main challenges they face in achieving autonomy and empowerment, as well as developing their export potential, especially under the crisis scenario.

The meeting was attended by more than 200 people, including women entrepreneurs, representatives of the public sector, international organizations, civil society organizations and academia from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, as well as Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The inauguration of the meeting was attended by high-level authorities from the Pacific Alliance countries: the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations of Chile, Rodrigo Yáñez, the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, Martha Delgado Peralta, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Peru, Diego Llosa Velásquez, as well as, through a video message, by Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Colombia, Laura Valdivieso Jiménez.

The opening to the panel of women entrepreneurs was moderated by Luz María de la Mora Sánchez, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade of Mexico and headed by Alejandra Villota, Senior Specialist of the Integration and Trade Sector of the IDB, who presented the main findings of the study Impact of COVID-19 on the operations of women-led businesses in the Pacific Alliance, as well as a series of recommendations for the prioritization of tools and policies to support the reactivation of companies led by women in the region.

The study was the product of collaborative work between the IDB and the governments of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru through the Alliance’s Gender Technical Group. Using the ConnectAmericas for Women platform and the AP Women Entrepreneurs Community, a specialized survey was carried out to collect data that allowed to know the impact that COVID-19 and the confinement measures have had on the operation and management of companies led by and/or owned by women in the PA.

Four outstanding businesswomen from the Alliance member countries participated in the panel: Carolina Arce, Cofounder of Impactus Ventures; Roxanna Vergara, Cofounder and Commercial Director of Vendty; Perla Buenrostro, Founder of Bolder Group; and Violeta Quispe, entrepreneur of Artesanía, as well as ECLAC through the Director of the Gender Affairs Division, Ana Güezmes.

During the dialogue, the panelists shared the main obstacles, challenges, as well as strategies to face the effects of the pandemic and gender inequality from their companies. The importance of business access to technology, digitalization, financing and government support, as well as sales channels and international markets was highlighted, also the strategies that governments and the private sector must work together to reduce the differentiated impact on women and women-led businesses. ECLAC shared recommendations and key points that countries should consider to support women’s economic autonomy, taking as a reference its recent Special Report COVID-19 N⁰9: Women’s economic autonomy in sustainable recovery and with equality.

Closing remarks were given by Laura Valdivieso Jiménez, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, María José Abud, Undersecretary for Women and Gender Equity of Chile, Nadine Gasman Zylbermann, President of the National Women’s Institute of Mexico, and Grecia Rojas Ortiz, Vice Minister of Women of Peru, who reiterated the support of their governments to move decisively towards the elimination of gender discrimination, through the empowerment of women and girls, as a necessary condition to achieve equitable, prosperous, peaceful and sustainable societies.


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.


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.


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.