Two developments have taken place in recent days concerning the progress of the Pacific Alliance: first the issuance of cat bonds for earthquake-induced damages. Second, the new round of negotiations with candidates to associate members on the last week of January. We will refer to each of them briefly.
A positive outcome is the release of Catastrophic bonds to cover the four members against earthquakes with a total coverage of US $ 1.3 billion. The World Bank-IBRD issued the first multi-nation operation on Wednesday 7 February. According to the Bank, this is the second largest issuance of cat bonds in history.
Coverage for Chile, Colombia and Peru will be for three years while Mexicos’ coverage will be two years. The cat bonds issuance is worth celebrating as a clear example of how regional cooperation could contribute to support national capabilities. It is also an expression of the problem-based approach taken by the Pacific Alliance in the aftermath of the intense earthquakes suffered by Mexico in 2017 and Chile in 2015.
The second round of negotiations towards ‘commercial agreements of high standards’ between the PA members as a whole and the four candidates (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore) took place in Gold Coast, Australia, from the 29 January to the 2 February 2018.
It gathered government officials of the eight countries to discuss disciplines in areas such as: market access on agricultural and industrial products, trade facilitation, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, services, investment, trade remedies, public procurement, cooperation, environment, labour, and institutional matters of the agreements.