QUITO – A trade pact with Mexico and updating the existing commercial accord with Chile are the final hurdles that Ecuador must overcome to join the Pacific Alliance, Production, Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Pablo Campana said.
“We have to have a free trade agreement with Mexico and we need to broaden the trade pact we have with Chile. We have goods (covered in it), but we need to include services,” Quito’s trade minister said in an interview with EFE this past week.
Campana added that “With that, we’d be ready to be part of the Pacific Alliance,” although Ecuador to date – along with 55 other countries – has been an observer to the regional trade group.
With Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru as members, the multilateral trade alliance has a waiting list of nations looking to join that includes Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, all of which are currently “associated states.”
But over the past year, Ecuador has been seeking to join the regional group, as per its policy of openness in the economic and trade sectors and as it looks for new multilateral alliances to enter.
Campana said that “Ecuador is not only a priority for us, but also for the Pacific Alliance” because with Quito’s admission the grouping would be geographically unified without the territorial gap that currently exists in South America.
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra made a commitment in late October on his first state visit to Ecuador to push for Quito’s entry into the regional alliance.
“Why not prioritize a neighboring country that also shares the Pacific Ocean?” Vizcarra had asked rhetorically at the close of the bilateral meeting he held with his Ecuadorian counterpart, Lenin Moreno, at the Carondelet presidential palace.