Doing Business in the Pacific Alliance
On February 26th 2019, the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in close cooperation with the Embassies of Peru, Chile, Colombia & Mexico organised a seminar on doing business in the Pacific Alliance.
The main purpose of this seminar was to develop new business opportunities between Luxembourg and the four countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) that are members of the Pacific Alliance, informing Luxembourg companies about the situation and trends of its markets, both in terms of international trade and of investments, with a special emphasis in those sectors of particular relevance for the Luxembourg economy and that of the Pacific Alliance’s countries.
The Pacific Alliance is an initiative of regional integration, officially established on April 28th, 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Its objectives are firstly to build a regional area of deep integration, secondly, to drive further growth, development and competitiveness to the economies of its members, and thirdly to become a platform of political articulation, economic and commercial integration.
The seminar was organized in the presence of the Ambassadors of the 4 countries that constitute the Pacific Alliance and following the impulse of the Embassy of Peru more specifically as Peru holds the rotating presidency of the Alliance for the 6 first months of 2019.
In his welcome address, Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs at the Luxembourg Chamber of commerce, underlined that the Pacific Alliance is one of the most relevant efforts towards regional integration seen in recent decades. Compared to similar alliances around the world like the MERCOSUR, the Pacific Alliance made impressive progress in only 8 years, since its launch in 2011. He also compared the foundation of the Pacific Alliance to the foundation of the European Union. Since its creation, there has been constant progress towards the integration of Europe, like it is the case in Latin America with the Pacific Alliance.
In his opening speech, Daniel Da Cruz, Director General for Foreign Trade & Investment Promotion at the Ministry of the Economy then insisted on the deep bonds that exist between Europe and Latin America in terms of people and history. According to him, Latin American countries are natural partners for Europe when we focus on finding new partners worldwide.
After that, the 4 Ambassadors took consecutively the floor to firstly set the scene and briefly describe the Pacific Alliance. The four countries constituting the Pacific Alliance comprise a population of around 217 million people, representing 34% of the GDP, 56.9% of total trade and 41.5% of Foreign Direct Investment within the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. Today there are 55 countries that are associated members of the Alliance, acting as observers, out of which 21 from the European Union (so far Luxembourg is not listed as observer).
Thanks to the Alliance, mechanisms were created between the 4 countries to facilitate the free movement of goods & services, the free movement of capital, financial integration, digitalization and innovation in SMEs. As of today, 45% of the total of the Foreign Direct Investment into Latin America go to the 4 countries, which represent 40% of the total GDP of Latin America. For 2030, they share common goals of continuing improving the integration, the connection and the globalization in order to develop the quality of life of the citizens in the 4 countries. In that context, a Pacific Alliance venture capital fund will be launched to support key companies that have potential in the 4 countries.
After this introduction, in front of an audience of 70 participants, each Ambassador presented the numerous business opportunities in its own country going from renewable energy, to telecommunications and information technologies, infrastructure and logistics, banking and finance, digital economy, tourism and others. You may find their presentations as attachments to this article.
Following this “beauty contest”, like the Ambassador of Peru named it, where it was impossible to choose a winner, Patrik Lowie, area manager at Jan de Nul group, which is active in the 4 countries delivered a testimonial on how to do business in those countries. Then Nicoletta Favaretto, Senior Project Officer, International Affairs at Eurochambers gave a brief introduction on the various support programs that are financed by the European Commission to support European companies which want to do business in Latin America.
The seminar, open to all sectors of activity, was followed by a networking reception where typical food and beverages from each country has been served.
For further information about activities of the Chamber of Commerce related to Latin America, please feel free to contact Violaine Mathurin – latinamerica(at)cc.lu – T: +352 42 39 39-481.