The Presidents of the Pacific Alliance gathered to discuss the progress and steps forward in Puerto Varas, Chile on the 1st July 2016. The last meeting of the Presidents took place almost a year ago.
The highlights of the Presidential Summit and the meetings on the outskirts of it include:
- General Guidelines on the Relational Aspect: The presidential mandates defined the basic activities to undertake in the short term regarding relations with observer states based on cooperation in four key areas: (i) trade facilitation; (ii) education; (iii) internationalization of SMEs; and (iv) science, technology, and innovation. A meeting with ministers of the 49 Observer states took place on the 30th June. Moving forward the PA will negotiate a Cooperation Framework with ASEAN and work on the areas agreed with Mercosur and the European Union. The PA recently signed an ‘Association Agreement with Canada’ setting the basis of the future cooperation between the two. Moreover, PA is examining the feasibility of a FTA with New Zealand.
- A large list of mandates is developed through the Presidential Declaration with nineteen areas for further action along with the agenda with third states. The mandates refer to activities in the areas of green development and sustainability, education, gender, joint work by health authorities, trade facilitation and customs cooperation, exploratory works in the area of labour and labour mobility, movement of people and migratory transit, specific cooperation within this technical group, services, consumer protection, regulatory cooperation and technical barriers to trade regarding specific products, SMEs, participation of SMEs in government procurement, tourism, innovation, pilot program to speed up patent processes, promotion of cultural products, sustainable mining and good practices, and promotion activities of the promotion agencies.
- The Council of Ministers of Finance received a mandate to develop an action plan for the next year to further activities in the four key areas of work defined within the Paracas Declaration last year. These areas cover (i) financial integration, (ii) the development of a mechanism for infrastructure investment; (iii) catastrophic risk management; (iv) fiscal transparency.
- The ad hoc institutional structure keeps growing with the establishment of the Technical Group on Environment and Green Growth, The Labour Group and the Sub-Group on Digital Agenda.
The Presidential Summit was preceded by the III Business Summit of the PA gathering entrepreneurs and SMEs from the members, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and Canada. The XVI meeting of the Council of Ministers also took place on 30th June 2016. After these meetings, Chile will assume the Presidency of the intergovernmental mechanism for the next year.
Photocredits: the photo in this post has been published under a Creative Commons license on Flickr under the user “David Ubilla” link: flickr.com