Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Alicia Barcena on Wednesday reaffirmed the regional organization's support for the Pacific Alliance integration process.
The Pacific Alliance
—a mechanism comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru— was deemed a successful experience founded on three key features: political will, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), plus pragmatism in decision-making and in the design of cooperation instruments.
"This is a project that creates enthusiasm and encouragement, which gives us hope that integration in the region is possible, so no one gets left behind," remarked Barcena while moderating the Pacific Alliance's V CEO Investment Summit.
The event was attended by Presidents Michelle Bachelet (Chile) and Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray (Mexico) and Foreign Trade-Tourism Eduardo Ferreyros (Peru).
Before an audience —composed of international investors and multinational businesses representatives— authorities expressed their solidarity
with the people of Mexico, recently hit by a devastating earthquake
. Afterwards, they addressed the investment opportunities offered by the Pacific Alliance, plus its progress and projections in terms of financial integration.
The attending presidents and ministers highlighted the financial and trade results achieved in recent years by the regional bloc, despite economic slowdown and falling commodities prices.
They placed particular value on solid fiscal policies, commitment to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)
that contributes to productive diversification, as well as the importance given to private initiatives and innovation policies.
Among the challenges that persist, they mentioned increased productivity in the four economies, value chain integration, technology transfer and the construction of a "brand" associated with the Pacific Alliance.
During the discussion, particular attention was given to projects such as the Latin American Integrated Market (MILA) and the investment fund passport aimed at achieving greater competition between member countries through capital circulation.
According to its own definition, the Pacific Alliance
—created in 2011— is an integration initiative focused on reducing trade barriers, as well as fostering the free circulation of goods, services, capitals and people across its territories.
The bloc —which relies on 52 observer countries and represents the eighth-largest economy in the world— has begun negotiations with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore interested in joining as the first Associated States
According to ECLAC data, Pacific Alliance countries received US$64.793 billion in FDI in 2016, 14% less than in 2015 (US$75.351 billion).
"The Pacific Alliance has been a great success for a region that needs to strengthen its integration" and "show unity to the world," pointed out Barcena, who called on attendees to look closely at global FDI trends.