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Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico sign FTA with Singapore

The four Latin American countries held the Summit of the Pacific Alliance on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Here are some special envoys from AL DÍA NEWS.

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The member countries of the Pacific Alliance — Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico; and Singapore — signed a commercial agreement on Wednesday, Jan. 26 in Málaga Bay, Colombia, whereby tariffs are eliminated and a greater volume of products are exported from the Asian country.

The decision implies the inclusion of Singapore to the trading bloc.

"We officially welcome Singapore as an Associate Member. The agreement has been signed. I would like to express, once again, that this is a historic milestone for this Alliance," stated Colombian President Iván Duque.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said that America and Asia are “more connected than they think,” and that he expects the companies that make part of the Alliance take advantage of the opportunities to do business.

The Free Trade Agreement also includes other terms such as cooperation in the following areas: economy, customs, energy, e-commerce, food commerce, infrastructure, maritime transport services and telecommunications.

Singapore is the first member state of the Pacific Alliance, which was created by Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico, on April 28, 2011. It originated from the Lima Treaty to establish an integration space, and advance the free circulation of goods, services, capitals and people. It also became a platform that would integrate the political to the economic and commercial spheres in the Asia-Pacific region.

Apart from the free trade agreement with Singapore, the representatives of the four countries will sign a statement for creative economies, and will also consider the integration of Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Among the attendees to the summit are member countries and observers: Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera; Colombia’s Iván Duque; Peru’s Pedro Castillo; and Ecuador’s Guillermo Lasso. Also, the Minister of Commerce and Industry from Singapore, Gan Kim Yong, and the Treasury Secretary of Mexico Rogelio Ramírez were in attendance.

The negotiation of the agreement concluded six months ago, and now it will have to be backed by the Congress in every country.

The four countries that make part of the trading bloc represent the eighth largest economy in the world, and 41% of the GDP of Latin America.

Currently, the Alliance has set up eight shared embassies in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Morocco, Singapore and Vietnam. It also has a commercial office in Istanbul, Turkey. Tourist and business visas were eliminated to transit between them.

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