LIMA (Agencies) — Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Friday that Latin America’s Pacific Alliance trade bloc was getting stronger by the day and has made significant progress toward consolidation.
As evidence of the success of the recent sub-regional trade bloc, comprised of founding members Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, Kuczynski said the alliance has even been approached by other Latin American countries interested in joining.
He said Argentina, which attended the bloc’s last summit in Chile in July, has been closely following the Alliance’s progress as an associate member, noting its success of promoting the free movement of goods and labor between members.
The bloc represents a market of some 217 million population and 40 percent of Latin America’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Alliance, and 92 percent of products within the market move freely, while “the remaining 8 percent will be (liberalized) in the short and medium term.”
Latin America’s traditional economic landscape, long dominated by Brazil, its largest economy, is changing, said Kuczynski, noting the South American giant is undergoing political upheaval and an economic downturn, but will come stronger out of it.
The president also highlighted an upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, which will see the group’s 21 member economies gather in Peru’s capital Lima in November.
Hosting the meeting should boost tourism and Peru’s position in the world market, Kuczynski said.
The APEC groups 21 member economies, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, China, China’s Hong Kong and Taipei, Mexico, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Russia and Vietnam.