Canada and the Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance is a regional initiative created in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru that seeks the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. The Alliance’s overarching goals are to foster the free movement of goods, services, capital and people and to promote greater competitiveness and economic growth for member countries.
Canada has been actively deepening its engagement with the Alliance since becoming the first non-Latin American observer in 2012, and the first observer to sign a Joint Declaration on a Partnership with the Alliance in 2016.
In June 2017, Canada was among the first countries invited to become an Associated State of the Pacific Alliance, along with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
The Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance is not only a platform of commercial integration, but also develops common objectives and shares best practices in a number of areas, such as tourism, intellectual property, regulatory frameworks, gender, innovation, mining, and climate change.
The four members have opened joint trade promotion offices and participate together in trade shows around the world. In 2015, all four countries’ stock exchanges were integrated into a common market known by its Spanish acronym as MILA (Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano).
With a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion, and 223 million inhabitants, the Pacific Alliance constitutes an important market for Canada.
Of the 55 observers of the Pacific Alliance, Canada is considered one of the most active in developing dynamic and productive ties with the Pacific Alliance.
Canada-Pacific Alliance Joint Declaration on Partnership
The joint declaration identifies six areas for increased cooperation:
- trade facilitation and promotion
- education and training
- small and medium-sized enterprises
- science, technology and innovation
- responsible natural resource development and corporate social responsibility
- environment, including climate change and ocean conservation
Canada-Pacific Alliance cooperation projects
Canada has four cooperation projects with the Pacific Alliance, which support the Joint Declaration:
- Improving Market Access and Export Readiness for Pacific Alliance Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ($524,000; 2016-2018)
- Skills for Employment for the Extractives Sector of the Pacific Alliance ($16.2 million; 2016-2021)
- Canada-Pacific Alliance Scholarships to support Pacific Alliance countries to sustainably manage and regulate their extractive sectors ($5 million; 2016-2021
- Support to enhance measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) mechanisms in collaboration with the Pacific Alliance ($1.6 million; 2017-2021)
Canada-Pacific Alliance commercial relations
Canada has comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreements with all four Pacific Alliance members. Canada’s total merchandise trade with Pacific Alliance countries totalled $50.5 billion in 2017, representing 79 per cent of Canada’s two-way trade with Latin America (excluding the Caribbean). Canada also has an important presence in these countries with $48.4 billion of Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) in 2017, or 68.2 per cent of the total investment abroad for this region.
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