Samuel George on the potential of the Pacific Alliance
I am very happy to have my piece on the Pacific Alliance published in the April 2nd Financial Times as part of a special report on the Pacific Alliance.
The piece is online here. Here is an excerpt:
Some consider the bloc little more than a publicity stunt. Brazil’s foreign minister Antonio Patriota has referred to it as a “marketing success”.
This is no bad thing for the alliance. Lost amid headlines from the drug wars and commodity trade publications – and perhaps overshadowed by economic and political vicissitudes in Venezuela and Argentina – is the fact that alliance members have enjoyed strong macroeconomic performance, improved governance and increased global integration.
Alliance inflation has tracked developed-economy inflation since 2005. Reserves are up, while debt and deficit figures are generally within the EU’s Maastricht criteria. With improved institutions that have facilitated changes of power, there is reason to believe Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are able to withstand emerging-market turbulence.
These individual advances may be more important than anything that comes out of the alliance. If the bloc can capture global attention and amplify members’ voices in trade talks – while perhaps attracting some FDI along the way, then the marketing is – well – a success.