Sunday, July 07, 2019

Ecuador joining Pacific Alliance

Ecuador has started the process to become member of Pacific Alliance in the first week of July 2019. This was confirmed and welcomed at the summit of the Alliance held on 7 July.
It is geographically logical given the fact that Ecuador is tucked in between Colombia and Peru, the only neighbours of the country.
Since UNASUR and Andean Community (of which Ecuador was a member) are dead, Ecuador needs to join a Group and Pacific Alliance is a natural choice.
In any case, Ecuador has already signed FTA with Colombia, Peru and Chile.. It will soon sign one with Mexico.
While all the four members of Pacific Alliance have signed FTA with US, Ecuador is the only one which has no FTA with US.

It is a pity that the Andean Community, which was the best instituitionalised Group in Latin America, was killed by Chavez, at the height of his arrogance.
On the other hand, UNASUR has been buried by the rightist Presidents of South America, who did not like the Group formed by Lula and the other Leftist Presidents.
The only countries remaining solo without being part of any regional groups in South America are Venezuela and Bolivia. Although Venezuela had joined Mercosur, the rightists of Brazil and Argentina threw out Venezuela from membership. Bolivia is hanging on to Associate membership of Mercosur.

Ecuador's membership interest is due to President Lenin Moreno who is a centrist pragmatist in contrast to his radical Leftist predecessor Rafael Correa who would not have joined the Pacific Alliance. Correa was enthusiastic about UNASUR and got its headquarters in Quito.

While Chile, Peru and Colombia the three members of the Pacific Alliance Group have centre-right presidents, Mexico the biggest member has a leftist one Lopez Obrador. It seems that he is not too enthusiastic about the Alliance. He did not attend the 7 July summit. Of course, he is focussed more on Mexico's domestic issues and does not care much for foreign policy. alliances or global profile. 

India's trade with Ecuador in 2018-19 was 517 million dollars of which exports were 298 million and imports 219 m. Ecuador is a regular source of crude oil imports of India. In May 2019, India had initiated FTA negotiations with Ecuador.

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