“The Pacific Alliance at 10 years” – India seeks to engage more with member countries
To reach a target of $ 30 billion over the next few years, India is exploring new opportunities in the Pacific Alliance (PA) countries (Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru). For India, the member countries of the Pacific Alliance have become a regular source of imports of crude oil, copper and gold.
“The Alliance strengthens our already appreciated partnership with member countries. Our common interests, complementarity of economies and expected benefits make it imperative that India and the PA continue to forge partnerships, ”said (Ms.) Gloria Gangte, Co-Secretary, LAC Division, Ministry Foreign Affairs.
“There is great potential for the Pacific Alliance in developing more South-South cooperation programs,” the MEA official said in her virtual speech.
She was speaking on “Pacific Alliance @ 10”, organized jointly by the Colombian Embassy which holds the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance in collaboration with the Ananta Aspen Center.
Reiterating that India, as an observer country, has pledged to engage more constructively at multiple levels with member countries, Ms. Gangte said, “India also offered to collaborate on tools digital for publishing, scholarships for the master’s program in cultural management, science and technical cooperation on climate change and fisheries and aquaculture.
Increased institutional development and clear rules in the Palestinian Authority will lead to increased investment and employment, which will ensure equal opportunities and reduce poverty.
“Even during the pandemic, Alliance members worked together to address the challenges and emphasized the importance of e-commerce and the relevance of small and medium-sized businesses,” added Ms. Gangte.
She also highlighted some measures taken by the alliance such as: the elimination of tariffs between the four Member States and the further liberalization of services and investment markets; Facilitate the flow of people and talent across borders, removing short-term visa and business requirements; and Establish an Integrated Stock Exchange – Mercado Integrado Latino Americano (MILA), the largest stock exchange in Latin America. In addition, the institutionalization of cooperation through the “Cooperation Forum” for engagement with observer states, the focus on the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, the creation of a Cooperation Fund, etc.
“The Pacific Alliance is part of the Indo-Pacific family. And, if we put the Pacific Ocean in the center of the map, we could see Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru as closer relatives to India on the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean, ”he said. reiterated the new Colombian Ambassador to India, Ms. Mariana Pacheco Montes.
According to the Colombian envoy, “India’s trade with the Pacific Alliance, which accounts for 40% of its trade with Latin America, grew rapidly before the pandemic and now has the potential to reach 30%. billion dollars in the years to come ”.
“In Latin America and the Caribbean, the block of countries accounts for 38 percent of GDP, 50 percent of total trade and attracts 45 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI). The combined population of the four member countries is 225 million people and has an average GDP per capita of USD 18,000, ”Ms. Montes said.
According to Juan Angulo, Ambassador of Chile to India, “The Alliance has been a key mechanism to improve the free flow of goods, services, capital and people between our countries. Over the years, the Alliance has maintained its founding vocation, which is to deepen integration between its members. Integration not only in the transaction of goods but also facilitating the movement of capital and investments, people and culture and also services, whether in financial matters, advice, insurance, etc. We must continue and deepen these policies. Even though we have done a lot, one of our challenges is to increase intra-Alliance trade. Currently 92% of all tariff lines are duty free and the goal is to reach 100% of goods by 2030. ”
“We have also boosted the Alliance’s Digital Agenda, with the participation of the private sector and the academy. The objective is to identify the needs and demands of the private sector towards professionals and technicians to adapt the studies and the availability offered to companies, ”said the envoy from Chile.
“We have also made progress in removing barriers to electronic commerce, which is of particular interest in the current pandemic situation,” he added.
“The environment is an area of great importance to the Pacific Alliance. And work is underway and to also bring together the efforts of the private sector and governments, prioritizes sustainability, directs its efforts towards green growth and strengthens the environmental policies of each of the member countries, ”said the ambassador. from Chile.
According to him, “The Declaration on the sustainable management of plastics signed in 2019 by the members will implement new policies to promote the integral management of this waste and reduce its presence in ecosystems. And also considerations to promote the circular economy, the blue economy and the prevention of microplastics in marine, river and lake environments ”.
“The challenge for the PA is to become an effective tool for social and economic recovery from the pandemic. For such a recovery, Mexico actively supports initiatives concerning the empowerment of women, a regional digital market, the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, the revitalization of tourism, the promotion of employability, education. and training, ”said Mexican Ambassador to India Federico Salas Lotfe.
Adding: “Mexico has its own program to improve the employability of young people through grants for apprentices. To date, more than 260,000 young people have been registered, 59% of whom are women ”.
In his speech, the Mexican envoy stressed that the use of e-commerce “to develop our commerce will allow more MEPs to access our regional market and face current restrictions such as lockdown and social distancing” .
India and Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance marked an important milestone in the regional integration process that began in Lima in 2011 and remains a champion of free and open trade.
India joined the Pacific Alliance as an observer member in February 2014, and has since offered some areas of technical cooperation in science and technology, small and medium-sized enterprises, IT and electronic governance. Due to the current global COVID-19 crisis, global trade with the four member countries reached $ 12 billion in 2020-2021. However, it is down from 14.08 billion USD in 2019-20 and 17 billion USD in 2018-19.
Indian companies present in PA countries
There are more than 30 Indian companies that have invested in the four countries. More companies are expected to come in and come from energy, mining, IT, BPO, software, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.
Learn more about the Pacific Alliance
The recent inclusion of 4 associate members (Australia, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand) as well as a network of 59 “observer states” covering 5 continents consolidates the emerging international influence of the Pacific Alliance.