LORDS

UK Government should put more focus on the Pacific Alliance

26 June 2019

International Relations Committee report says that the UK shares similar values with the countries of the Pacific Alliance – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – on a number of issues, including free trade, open markets and democracy, and with this comes potential for the UK to work more closely with them on a range of international issues.

Background

The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The House of Lords International Relations Committee has today published its report The UK’s relationship with the Pacific Alliance, exploring the relationship between the UK and members of the Pacific Alliance, and recommending measures to increase trade, build closer ties and calling for more diplomatic effort to be put into the region.

Chairman's comments

Commenting on the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Lord Howell of Guildford said:

"The members of the Pacific Alliance - Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – favour free trade and open economies, and represent a maturing market for goods and services as the Government seeks to boost the UK’s trade and investment links across the globe. Current levels of trade with these four countries, and Latin American as a whole, are extremely modest, and show great potential for improvement.

"Beyond the trade relationship, we also share considerable common ground with Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru on global issues including democracy, the rules-based international order and addressing climate change. In a world of fast-evolving new networks this is one more in which Britain must be deeply engaged."

Conclusions and recommendations

The Committee concludes that strong relations with Pacific Alliance countries will be invaluable should the UK seek to boost its trade with the Asia-Pacific region, including membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The Committee also concluded that the wider Latin American region is an increasingly important part of the global economy, but expresses concerns that the UK's current levels of trade with the region is extremely low.

The Committee has  identified several areas where the Government's engagement with the countries of the Pacific Alliance need to be improved. Ministerial visits to the region have declined in recent months, and the Committee urges the Government to restore previous levels of engagement. The Committee also has concerns regarding the level of support being given to UK-based businesses by the Department for International Trade, particularly on language skills, and urges the Government to consider greater visa liberalisation for Colombia and Peru.

Further Information

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