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Fernanda Luchine Ishihara, MPIA '12, on the Alliance of the Pacific

Alliance of the Pacific: An Ambitious Partnership

Fernanda Luchine Ishihara, Latinvex

Despite the lack of coverage in U.S. media, the Alliance of the Pacific is an ambitious integration effort between Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico which was formally launched in June 2012. Costa Rica has already formally requested to join the group, while Panama is an observer, and presumably future full member. Canada, Australia and New Zealand achieved observer status this month. Accounting for 35 percent of Latin America’s GDP and half of the region’s global trade volume, the main objective of these four countries is to strengthen their own economies through increased ties with Asia.

Like other integration efforts in the region, Alianza del Pacífico aims to achieve the free flow of goods, investments, services and people among its members, as well as building joint infrastructure projects. As leading Latin economies in the Pacific Rim, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico want to take maximum advantage of Asia’s growing influence and hopefully conclude with a free trade deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, (ASEAN). But at least two elements distinguish this alliance from any other: the creation of a joint university system and the expansion of the joint stock exchange called Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano, (MILA).

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Fernanda Luchine Ishihara is an IR/PS alumna, graduated with a Master of Pacific International Affairs in June 2012 with a specialization in International Management and Politics with focus on Latin America. She received her B.A. in Business Management and Public Administration at the Universidade de Brasilia (UnB). She is currently Research Associate and Assistant to the President at the Institute of the Americas.