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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:20 AM

Colombia, Chile, Peru, Mexico to eliminate trade barriers


.Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico will eliminate 90% of all trade barriers between their respected countries, said Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on Monday.

The agreement marks a new era of relations between the constituent countries of the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc which serves to increase competitiveness in international commerce. Besides improving competitiveness, the Pacific Alliance was created to offset the Mercosur group, which includes Brazil and Argentina. The alliance has a combined GDP of $1.7 trillion dollars, which is equal to 35 percent of Latin America’s GDP.

"Not only did we reaffirm our willingness to accelerate the process of integration between our countries and announce concrete measures to that end, but we also set out some very precise targets in terms of involving other countries," said Colombia president Juan Manuel Santos. Japan and Guatemala will be included in the Alliance as observers.

"The remaining 10% will have a timetable in which to achieve the goal of 100% free trade," Chilean president Sebastian Piñera said.

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