The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative featuring Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. It was created with the objectives to achieve free circulation of goods services capital and persons among its member states, as well as to promote growth, development and competitiveness in the member state economies and thus positively impact social welfare. Switzerland has been an observer in the Alliance since November 2013.
Based on its own strategic values, the Pacific Alliance is “an open and non-exclusive integration process, consisting of countries with related visions of development, and that promote free trade as a driver for growth. It is focused on modernity, pragmatism and political will to establish an initiative to address the challenges required by the international economy. “
We dare say that, since its creation, the Pacific Alliance has taken the great leap forward in achieving the envisaged goal. The Alliance has unified their stock exchanges and abolished visas for their citizens into the four countries. From a customs perspective, the significance is shown in how the Alliance liberalized free trade among its members by eliminating more than 90% of the customs duties among the four countries, enabled cumulation for origin purposes of products originating in the Alliance. Moreover, the Alliance is working on the introduction of an electronic origin certificate (Certificación de Origen Electrónica (COE)), on streamlining and simplifying their customs procedures and cooperation and harmonizing technical barriers to trade as well as sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
Apart from specific trade measures, the Alliance demonstrates streamlined appearance towards non-member countries, welcoming observers – among others Switzerland – gaining insight into the work of its Council of Ministers, a body composed of the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Foreign Affairs of its member states.
Switzerland is already well-connected to the member states of the Alliance, having both EFTA free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as agreements on the avoidance of double taxation (DTTs) and on the bilateral protection and enhancement of investments (BITs) in place with all four countries. We are content that the observer status will enhance the fruitful dialogue between these beautiful mountainous countries and take international relations to an elevated level.
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