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LatAm’s Pacific Alliance to Boost Cooperation with Japan in Areas of Common Interest

LIMA – The Pacific Alliance and Japan are looking forward to increase their bilateral cooperation in matters of common interest, ranging from trade and investment to sustainable development and technology, according to a declaration issued during Friday’s meeting of the Latin American bloc in the capital of Peru.

The declaration was signed in Lima by representatives from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – who make up the Alliance’s Council of Ministers – and Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kiyoto Tsuji.

“We have a very close relationship with Japan in terms of cooperation and, precisely, what we aim to do is to more directly link all the cooperation projects and programs that the Pacific Alliance has,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio told EFE.

In this regard, the signed declaration expressed the interest of both parties to strengthen cooperation to facilitate the free circulation of goods, services, capital and people.

It identified areas such as science, technology and innovation, trade and investments, disaster risk reduction, green growth and sustainable development goals, small and medium-sized enterprises, human and academic exchange, and gender, among other topics “of future interest.”

Tsuji, on his part, said that the document was an exchange of views on how to drive cooperation, which coincides with the 2030 strategic vision of the Alliance and Japan’s initiative to improve its ties with Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Japanese official added that they were committed to deepening a relationship based on fundamental values, such as human rights and the rule of law, as well as developing a free and open market, boosting multilateralism and sustainable development.

During the last day of the Council of Ministers meeting preceding the group’s Presidential Summit scheduled for Saturday, a statement on the partnership between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Alliance was also signed.

This document was signed between the Alliance and the Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Tatyana Valovaya, and expressed the decision of both parties to explore mutually beneficial areas of cooperation.

It mentioned regional economic integration, trade facilitation and the promotion of contact between the business communities of the member states of the two groups.

The Pacific Alliance signed another declaration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General of the organization, Juan Yermo.

This document expressed the commitment of both parties to establish strong links and promote greater synergies, in the interests of cooperation and mutual benefit.

Popolizio told EFE that these agreements deal with the external relations of the Alliance, as they “aim to have greater cooperation at the bloc level.”

He said that they refer to commitments “in terms of institutionality, democratic governance, all aspects that create better standards in public policies.”

Overall, it was the “new issues” presenting the major challenges of the future that dominated the summit. These include the environment, gender issues, innovation, digitalization, transparency, education and inclusion.

“Intelligence, imagination, creativity and innovation need to be the great engine of this new era for the Pacific Alliance,” said Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, whose country is set to take over the bloc’s ‘pro tempore’ chairmanship.

Boosting trade relations between the member states was another important focus.

To that end, the ministers stressed the Alliance’s “global vocation” and signaled their willingness to adopt new mechanisms to further expand on integration.

Peru was represented in the Council of Ministers meeting by Popolizio, Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Edgar Vasquez and Economy and Finance Minister Carlos Oliva.

Colombia was represented by Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Restrepo; for Mexico, it was Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, and Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez Colin; whereas Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera and Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez represented Chile.

The officials reviewed the details of the final declaration of the summit, to be issued by the leaders, as well as three other statements, concerning the multilateral trading system, the sustainable management of plastics and means of communication.


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