The 12th Pacific Alliance Summit, one of the world’s most important and successful regional trade blocs, began its second day of activities.
The summit’s host, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, welcomed his counterparts from Mexico (Enrique Peña Nieto), Chile (Michelle Bachelet) and Peru (Pedro Pablo Kuczynski). All four heads of state met in private at the Pacific Valley Events Center’s Rosita Hall.
Chile ceded the pro tempore presidency to Colombia, then the summit approved Cali’s declaration, assessing the Alliance’s achievements and its challenges for 2018.
During the session, Croatia, Eslovenia and Lithuania were declared observing countries. Also, the title of “associated state” was given to Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, thus advancing negotiations with members of the Transpacific Partnership (TPP).
One of the most outstanding achievements attained during the summit was increased mobility between countries. Tourism and business visas have been disposed of, as members signed an Inter-institutional Agreement for a Working and Vacationing Program, as well as a Consular Agreement. A new platform, the Immediate Exchange of Information for Immigration Security, was also created.
The four heads of state established the Integrated Latin American Market (MILA), a platform for financial integration and investment promotion. They also implemented Openings for Foreign Trade, which will allow exchange of documents online, easing paperwork for entrepreneurs and government authorities.