Bahia Malaga, Colombia, Jan 26 (EFE).- The Pacific Alliance, comprising Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Chile, welcomed Singapore on Wednesday as its first associate member.
Singapore’s trade and industry minister, Gan Kim Yong, traveled to Colombia’s Bahia Malaga naval base for a Pacific Alliance summit attended by Colombian President Ivan Duque, Chile’s Sebastian Piñera and Peru’s Pedro Castillo.
Mexico was represented by Finance Secretary Rogelio Eduardo Ramirez.
“We are bringing the Pacific Alliance to a new stage with the arrival of Singapore as an associate member and we are also getting closer to the entry of Ecuador as a full member,” Duque said.
The alliance, founded 10 years ago, “is stronger than ever,” the Colombian leader said.
“Integration, mutual investment, trade are definitive for the transformation of our nations and the generation of well-being,” he said.
Trade between the four charter members and Singapore amounted to $6.1 billion in 2019, the most recent year for which consolidated figures are available, and the total is expected to grow significantly thanks to the association agreement.
“This is a landmark moment in Singapore’s partnership with the Pacific Alliance,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a video message, adding that the agreement will “institutionalize and strengthen the economic links between our countries.”
“It generates new opportunities for growth, jobs and prosperity in the post-pandemic global economy,” the premier said, urging companies from the Pacific Alliance countries to “use Singapore as a gateway to uncover markets and seize business opportunities in our region.”
Ecuador, for its part, needs only to conclude a trade accord with Mexico to become eligible for full membership in the Pacific Alliance, having already signed deals with Colombia, Chile and Peru.