14 July 2017

News Story: Pacific Alliance to open trade talks with four countries

SANTIAGO, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Latin American trade bloc Pacific Alliance (AP) will begin formal negotiations in September towards a trade agreement with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, officials announced on Wednesday.

Paulina Nazal, head of International Economic Relations at the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Chile, one of the bloc's four founding members, said the AP's negotiating team will first gather in Lima, Peru between Sept. 3 and 4.

Alliance members Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile hope to quickly wrap up trade talks with the four countries, which currently have associated state status, she said.

To that end, "the chief negotiators will meet with the legal advisers of the eight countries to agree on the terms of the negotiations," said Nazal.

"There is great interest in concluding these negotiations, or in announcing the terms of the negotiations, ideally by the opening of the next Pacific Alliance summit, which is going to be in the middle of the year," added Nazal.

While there are existing trade agreements between the eight states, the new talks hope to expand those accords within the framework of the AP.

Read the full story at Xinhua