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The Pacific Alliance: nation-branding through regional organisations

Die Pazifikallianz: "Nation Branding" durch Regionalorganisationen
[working paper]

Nolte, Detlef

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Corporate Editor GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien, Institut für Lateinamerika-Studien
Abstract On 1 July 2016 the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru celebrated the 11th Summit of the Pacific Alliance (PA) in Puerto Varas, Chile. The PA members quite successfully practise a kind of joint "nation-branding" to promote trade and investment and to enhance their international status and visibility. Since its formation in 2012 the PA has attracted the interest of states and business sectors around the world. The PA is basically an economic strategic alliance designed to project and to promote the common interests of its member countries within Latin America and vis-à-vis the United States, Europe, and especially Asia. This explains why the PA is an organisation with many more observer states (49) than member states. These observer states include economic heavyweights such as Japan, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as three of the five Southern Common Market (Mercosur) countries and a member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). With its trade liberalisation agenda, the PA differentiates itself from other Latin American regional organisations, such as Mercosur and ALBA, and brings a new dynamic to Latin American economic integration. Moreover, it has revived Mexico as an external actor in the South American regional subs ystem. From a geopolitical perspective, the PA strengthens the Pacific shift in South America and economic links with Asia. Furthermore, it offers the US government new opportunities to promote its free trade agenda in Latin America at a time when Washington is showing renewed interest in L atin America. Policy Implications The four member countries of the PA "branded" themselves as gateways to Asia and as "good economies" compared to the "bad economies" of other more stateoriented economies in Latin America. With the recent political shift to the right in the region, the PA may become more influential and thus more capable of advancing trade liberalisation in Latin America. Likewise, the European Union may obtain greater leverage in its relations with Latin America through its close cooperation and free trade agreements with the PA countries.
Keywords Latin America; free trade area; economic integration; regional integration; economic relations; economic agreement; MERCOSUR; Pacific Rim
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Economic Policy
Free Keywords Alianza del Pacífico; image building; Transpacific Pacific Partnership
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
City Hamburg
Page/Pages 13 p.
Series GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 4
ISSN 1862-3573
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works