On May 1, 2016, a large share of trade between the Pacific Alliance member countries will become tariff free.

Andrés Rebolledo, Director General of General Directorate of International Economic Relations (Direcon) part of Chile’s Foreign Ministry, confirmed (link in Spanish) that the Additional Protocol to the Framework Agreement of the Pacific Alliance shall enter into force on May 1, 2016. This means that more than 90% of trade between the four countries that make up this integration initiative—Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru—will be tariff free.

Chile hopes this process will strengthen its exports of goods to Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

“After some internal procedures have been completed, this instrument will liberalize 92% of our trade, while the remaining 8% will be subject to a gradual tariff elimination schedule. This is very good news, since Chilean exports to the other three countries will grow stronger,” said Rebolledo.

In early March, the working sessions of the technical groups for External Relations, Movement of People, Communication Strategy, Cooperation, Institutional Affairs, SMEs, Innovation, and Gender were held in Bogotá, along with those for the Committee of Experts of the Business Council (EC-APEC), and the subgroups on Immigration and Security, Foreign Trade Single Windows (VUCE), Regulatory Cooperation, Trade Facilitation and Customs Cooperation, and Authorized Economic Operator (OAS).

Furthermore, the deputy ministers made headway on the economic integration agenda for the Pacific Alliance, in areas such as trade facilitation, entrepreneurship, and relations with partners outside the PA.