President Piñera presided over the 15th Pacific Alliance Summit: “Only the reactivation of our economies and our capacity to create jobs will allow us to find definitive solutions to socioeconomic issues”
The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the President of Peru, Francisco Sagasti participated in the meeting via videoconference.
President Sebastián Piñera chaired the 15th Pacific Alliance Summit this Friday, where he handed over the rotating presidency of the regional organization to Colombia.
The following is President Piñera’s speech with the conclusions of the meeting:
“Good afternoon: We have held a new Summit of the Pacific Alliance, this time via videoconference due to the pandemic. I was accompanied by the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, the President of México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the President of Peru, Francisco Sagasti.
We also held videoconferences with the business community that serves as a partner to the Pacific Alliance along with multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).
The Pacific Alliance came into being nine years ago and in its few years of existence it has shown efficiency and commitment. In fact, 98% of all trade exchange today is free from tariffs.
The Pacific Alliance’s objective was to create a community where there would be free movement of goods, services, investments and people, and we have come a long way. However, the problems that we are facing today are very different and the challenges we have to meet are more demanding.
That is why it is essential that the Pacific Alliance recovers and regains its momentum, its strength and dynamism and the conviction that allowed it to get where it is today.
Amongst these topics, we face many challenges. In fact, today, we have achieved important agreements in a road map for the implementation of the Regional Digital Market Agreement, a road map for Gender Equality and Rights and Opportunities and a road map to free us from single-use plastics that cause so much damage.
We also have been successful in designing strategies to face present-day challenges: the challenge of a digital economy and the technological revolution that awaits us, the full inclusion of SMEs and women in the integration effort, the challenges of global warming, the demands created by our aging population and many more.
I would like to finish by saying that, just as the vaccine will hopefully be a robust and efficient solution to containing the COVID-19 pandemic, only the reactivation of our economies and restoring our capacity to create jobs, invest and to recover the economy will allow us to find definitive solutions to the socioeconomic issues that trouble and distress so many families within the Pacific Alliance as well as in our country.
And to this end, there are two pieces of good news. First, we have made great progress in securing a safe and effective vaccine that we hope will be available in the coming days or weeks so that we can begin vaccinating those most at risk. This will allow us to better contain the pandemic and also to regain our freedom of movement and recover the ability of all people to materialize their dreams and projects.
But lastly, I would like to mention that there are two new states with which we have made enormous progress on their way to becoming Pacific Alliance Associate States. Today we reached important agreements to incorporate Singapore and Ecuador as Pacific Alliance Associate States and we hope that New Zealand, Australia and Canada will soon join us.
Finally, in the Declaration of Santiago that will be released there is a thorough and comprehensive record of all the progress made during Chile’s pro tempore presidency and also a proposal for a road map for the pro tempore presidency that Colombia will preside as of now.
And so I would like to give President Duque two objects. One is a symbol, a symbol of the Pacific Alliance and now you become the relay-runner. The second is a document that we have worked extremely hard on that gives an account of what we have done but also establishes a road map that I know you will put into action swiftly.”