May 24, 2013
Presidents of the Pacific Alliance agree on the total elimination of tariffs
Countries will evaluate the creation of a Pacific Alliance visa for tourists visiting member countries
CALI, Colombia – The presidents of Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and Peru — the countries that make up the Pacific Alliance — agreed to completely eliminate tariffs among members of the group for all products and announced that 90 percent of these products will be free of taxes upon the agreement’s entry into force. The presidents also agreed to study the creation of a Pacific Alliance visa for tourists visiting member countries and to carry out joint campaigns to promote tourism.
The announcements were made at the close of VII Pacific Alliance Summit, which was held in Cali on May 23. The leaders also announced the creation of a Pacific Alliance Partnership Fund and ratified agreements to share diplomatic and consular offices in Asia and Africa. Negotiations on the integration agreement are scheduled for completion on June 30.
A Pacific Alliance Business Encounter held concurrently with the summit brought together more than 500 business andgovernment representatives to discuss trade and investment opportunities offered by the alliance as well as the initiative’s social impact and its effect on the movement of labor among the member countries.
During the business summit the four presidents held a discussion on the theme "Much more than an alliance of four countries." In the discussion, which was moderated by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, the presidents emphasized that they consider the alliance as much more than a free trade agreement. For example, they noted work already underway to create scholarship programs among the countries, establish cooperation funds, and design a joint strategy to promote tourism in the region that will draw international visitors to the four countries.
The business meeting was organized by the government of Colombia, and the country’s export promotion agency Proexport, with the support of the IDB.
During the summit a meeting was also held by the Pacific Alliance Business Council, in which the business leaders presented a series of proposals to the presidents and formed technical groups to examine issues raised by the business sectors.
The IDB is fully committed to supporting this regional integration process and will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to the different groups and to the business council. The IDB also is supporting the Pacific Alliance’s first Macro Business Roundtable, which will take place in Cali on June 29.