December 16, 2020
Foreign Trade

Pacific Alliance Summit ends with Declarations on Gender Equality and the Digital Market within the trading bloc

Pacific Alliance Summit ends with Declarations on Gender Equality and the Digital Market within the trading bloc
Chile handed over the rotating presidency of the regional organization to Colombia after occupying the post for 16 months.

The 15th Pacific Alliance Summit was held on Friday. The meeting was chaired by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera. He was accompanied by the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, while the presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Peru, Francisco Sagasti, attended virtually.

During the Summit, the presidents signed the Santiago Declaration which reflects “profound sadness for the loss of thousands of lives across the region, as well as the loss of millions of jobs and an increase in poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”; their commitment to “continue working together to recover from the effects generated by COVID-19 and to overcome its economic and social impacts”; and their “recognition of the prompt drafting and implementation of the Pacific Alliance COVID-19 Action Plan".

In the Declaration the presidents also thanked the observer states, regional mechanisms and international organizations for their participation in the 2nd Technical Cooperation Forum 2020 and highlighted the adoption of the Joint Declaration on a Partnership between the States Parties to the Framework Agreement of the Pacific Alliance and the European Union, signed on September 25, 2019. This has allowed states to share experiences in economic reactivation in the face of COVID-19.

They noted the launch of the Pacific Alliance web platform, developed jointly with the IDB, and the start-up of the road map for improving the management of the bloc, “which will enable us to work more efficiently, with clearer roles and permanent follow-up of mandates”.

They also indicated their satisfaction with “the approval of the road map of the Presidential Declaration on Sustainable Plastics Management, signed in Lima in July 2019, which will enable states to implement actions aimed at reducing the impact of single-use plastics in our environment”.

Inspired by the objective of the Pacific Alliance to promote greater growth, development and competitiveness in the member countries and their economies, with a view to achieving greater welfare, overcoming socioeconomic inequality and ensuring the social inclusion of their inhabitants, the presidents signed the Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on Gender Equality. The Declaration is accompanied by a road map to identify the priority areas of action and the economic empowerment goals that will orient the Pacific Alliance in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies and initiatives to promote the economic and social development of women in the region. It is also intended to adopt legislation to eliminate barriers which prevent women from gaining access to capital and loans; to introduce measures to ensure equal rights and opportunities for men and women in the workplace; to increase the proportion of women in decision-making positions across the region; and to increase the proportion of women with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The presidents also declared their firm intention of making progress in the implementation of the Strategy for a Regional Digital Market in the framework of the Pacific Alliance, aimed at improving access to digital commerce; to create a friendly environment for the promotion of digital commerce; and to boost the digital economy to generate new sources of growth and productivity, by signing the Pacific Alliance Presidential Declaration on the development of the Regional Digital Market and the promotion of Digital Transformation. The Regional Digital Market will allow companies, particularly SMEs, to expand their opportunities through actions aimed at reducing trade barriers and increasing the use of digital tools to enter international markets.

During the Summit, the presidents of the Pacific Alliance countries held a meeting with President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador, which is applying for full membership of the regional bloc.

They also held a meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, which is a candidate to become an Associated State of the Pacific Alliance. Substantial aspects of the negotiations have been agreed.

Virtual meetings were also held with the members of the Pacific Alliance Business Council (CEAP) and with representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).