Behind a free trade agreement there is a clean and honest purpose to gather people together… I heard this phrase from the Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, and I think that it perfectly describes the spirit of regional integration that we have sought in Latin America for decades.
It is true that over the years we have made several attempts to achieve integration, signing a wide range of cooperation and commercial agreements, but so far we have not reached that goal. It is for this reason that during my recent participation in a forum with business leaders from Latin America, I emphasized on the factors that I consider essential to achieve it, such as the establishment of shared goals, vision, and capacity for commitment, leadership, clear regulations, efficient enforcement mechanisms and, above all, sustained political will.
An example of what we should aim to is the Pacific Alliance, because I believe that this agreement signed by Chile, Colombia, México and Peru is perhaps the closer effort to what it should be a real integration in the region.
This Alliance seeks to gradually achieve the free transit of goods, services, capitals and people, and is moving forward towards that direction, with the elimination of visas among its members, and the plan to open joint embassies. It is certainly a great example of vision and unity towards a common goal for our continent that we should follow closely and help replicate.