Colombia and the city of Cali are ready to host the birth of the Alianza del Pacifico (Pacific Alliance), a two day summit for Wednesday May 22 and Thursday, May 23.
The regional bloc consisting of Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico represents over 200 million people.
On Thursday, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos will receive his counterparts Sebastián Piñera of Chile, Ollanta Humala of Peru and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, in what the bloc plans to formalize a partnership that would them in the forefront of the regional economy and would open multiple opportunities for global trade.
Om Thursday the Latin American presidents will formally give life to the Pacific Alliance. The bloc will represent the equivalent population of Brazil and two thirds of the United States and generate a gross domestic product equal to 35% of all Latin America.
The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Sergio Diaz-Granados said that the four “together” represent “the eighth largest economy in the world,” which means a “strong possibility” of integration and global projection.
Some 250 businessmen from Latin America will be present for the two day event.
Colombia will be assuming the presidency of the Pacific Alliance pro-tempore and rotate among the participating countries. The headquarters of the Alliance will be in the city of Cali.
Other countries have their eyes on the Pacific Alliance. According to Colombia’s Foreign Ministry, Costa Rica’s presidenta Laura Chinchilla will attend the summit, and so will Panama’s president, Ricardo Martinelli. Both will be attending as “observers candidates” to join the bloc.
Also attending the summit will be Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper; Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy and Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez.
High level delegates from Australia, Japan, New Zealand ad Uruguay has confirmed their attendance as well.
“I have no doubt point to the integration of the Pacific Alliance as the most important in Latin America has had its history,” president Santos said recently.