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Interview: LatAm trade bloc to increase membership, expand cooperation with China
Last Updated: 2018-02-11 13:14 | Xinhua
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The Pacific Alliance (AP), a Latin American trade bloc, is increasing its membership and promoting cooperation with China, said on Saturday a leader of a Peruvian non-profit association.

The AP was initiated in 2011 by former Peruvian President Alan Garcia and later jointly formed by four important countries on the coast of the Pacific -- Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, aiming to push forward regional integration and ensuring complete trade freedom.

By inviting more countries like Panama and Costa Rica to join, Central American states could also play a part in it, said Carlos Canales, president of the Lima Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCL), a Peruvian non-governmental organization designed to create a mechanism as a social and economic benefit in communities.

"We can now foresee the expansion of trade and the rise of the flow of population as well as commodities in the Pacific Alliance," Canales told Xinhua in an interview.

The executive said the eighth Summit of the Americas, slated for April 13-14 in the Peruvian capital of Lima, will be a proper place to negotiate further consolidation of the bloc.

"This type of meetings help advance the agenda for the strengthening of economic alliances," said Canales.

He also highlighted the importance of China for the AP, since Chile, Peru and Mexico are parts of APEC along with the Asian giant.

Latin America and the AP will serve as a kind of virtual-pantry of China in the future, considering that the region provides an increasing quantity of seafood, which has a place in China's market, said Canales.

"Many Latin Americans have also already been consumers of products made in China. Reciprocity is an important topic (in the bilateral ties)... there are fewer restrictions (on trade)," he also said.

In an era of globalization, economic and trade cooperation between countries and blocs is seen as a major way to remove the remaining obstacles.

"China has helped countries like Peru to improve their trade balance and export volumes with growing demand for imports, and given them chances to invest in new business niches," said Canales.

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