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Press Releases, 2/12/2014

Finland an Observer State of the Pacific Alliance

Press Release 36/2014
12 February 2014

Finland’s application to become an Observer State of the Pacific Alliance (Alianza del Pacífico) was approved at the VIII Summit of the Pacific Alliance in Cartagena, Colombia on 10 February.

The Pacific Alliance is an economic region based on free trade formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in 2011. The Member States of the Alliance endeavour through dynamic efforts to harmonize and promote free trade especially in the Pacific region. Cooperation is built on the basis of Member States’ existing free trade arrangements. The region, with its favourable operating environment for business and attractive geographic location, offers opportunities also for Finnish enterprises. As an Observer State, Finland can take part in the organization’s events and receive information on the region’s development more directly.

The economies of the founding countries are stable, with an average economic growth rate of 4.3 per cent, and the countries have a broad population with purchasing power. The Alliance encompasses 209 million people, more than one third of Latin America’s population, and about 35 per cent of the continent’s GDP. According to the World Bank’s “Ease of doing business” evaluation, the countries of the Alliance are all among the top five for Latin America, with only Puerto Rico wedging into second place after Chile.

Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb visited Colombia and Mexico together with a business delegation in spring 2013. The visit confirmed that the Latin American countries with stable economic growth offer good trading opportunities for Finnish enterprises.

The Alliance has attracted much interest. Costa Rica and Panama are close to full membership. There are currently 30 Observer States. In addition to Finland, Observer Status was now granted to India, Singapore, Morocco and Israel. Observer Status has previously been granted, among others, to the United States, Canada, Australia, China and seven EU Member States (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

Additional information: Roy Eriksson, Head of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, tel. +358 295 350 595

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Updated 2/12/2014

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