Associate Member State Status is a Huge Opportunity

Political and economic integration in the Latin America and Caribbean region has been in the region’s agenda since the second half of the 20th century, following a fluctuating course. We observe that the integration initiatives in the region have been deeply affected and transformed by the global and regional political and economic changes. With the trade liberalization, Latin America countries have historically been more inclined to regional integration, in terms of adopting multilateral or regional integration strategies in order to achieve the economic development.

Established in 2011, the Pacific Alliance has been regarded as the most successful economic integration organizations in the region. Having members with democratic and stable governments and following liberal economic policies, the Alliance thrusts itself forward.

The Pacific Alliance has set the APEC and the ASEAN as privileged organizations within the scope of its goal of becoming a major actor in the Asia-Pacific region by increasing its partnerships with the region, and of conducting mutual project and activities in the third countries in the same region. Within the frame of this goal, Asia Pacific countries are offered associate member status. Turkey became a member to the Alliance as an “observer state” in 2013. Turkey is constantly invited to the Observer States Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting and the Interparliamentary Committee events organized at the margin of the Alliance presidents state of that term chairman. Turkey has concluded a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with a single member state of the Pacific Alliance, that is Chile, and has been in FTA negotiations with other three member states for a longtime. In this con- text, associate member state status recently offered by the Alliance represents a huge opportunity window, for achievement of which we need to work hard.

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Colombia Ece Öztürk Çil

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