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.