Peru president proposes a Pacific Rim integration for South America

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By Mario Sandoval
LivinginPeru.com

Alan Garcia and ministers agriculture
President Alan García with the Agriculture Ministers of Peru and Panama. (Photo: Andina)

Yesterday, in a press conference held upon the signature of an agricultural agreement with Panama in Lima, Peru, President Alan García said he wrote letters to the presidents of Panama, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, proposing the regional integration of the five Pacific rim countries, reported Peruvian news agency Andina.

"We propose a deep integration, or an in-depth integration as it is called in diplomatic language, between Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile," García said. "An integration that looks at the Pacific Ocean and unites us to improve our relationship with the other side of the Pacific, with the APEC economies."

The Peruvian president said that the Andean Community had failed to meet all its goals since it was created 41 years ago. He also said that while other integration schemes are doomed by permanent disputes, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile believe “in integration without limits”. "If we share this way of thinking, then what are we waiting for in order to integrate deeply to face united the inevitable reality of an international economy that is expanding by leaps and bounds?" he asked.

In the conference President García also spoke about the free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama. He stressed the interest of Peru in closer ties with Panama, therefore the FTA considers "deep integration" of goods, free flows of services and capital and the free movement of people. He insisted that these measures would have "greater effect" if applied to the five countries.

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