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Pacific Alliance leaders meet in Colombia


08:13, May 24, 2013

CALI, Colombia, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The seventh Pacific Alliance (PA) Summit was held Thursday in Cali, Colombia, with the focus on regional integration in order to consolidate the trading bloc.

Heads of state of the bloc's four member countries -- Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru -- attended the summit and delivered speeches, highlighting the importance and achievements of the regional bloc formally launched nearly one year ago.

In his speech, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said " Asia Pacific is the new development center in the world, and Latin America wants to be a part of it, wants to be a partner in this development, and in order to achieve this, we created this alliance and today we meet for the seventh time to consolidate its development and set its future direction."

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that this union is a more ambitious alliance in the history of Latin America. He praised the alliance's efforts to integrate Latin American, urging other regional countries to join this initiative and to have a shared vision about the path to defeat poverty.

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala hailed the creation of a joint cooperation fund and the elimination of 90 percent of the tariffs for the four member countries' main products for exports.

Mexican President Pena Nieto mentioned some challenges faced by the regional organization in the new era, such as poverty and inequality and reckoned that the best way to change the situation is to strengthen economic growth in a sustained way.

The summit was also attended by leaders of observer countries, including Canada, Spain, Guatemala.

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