Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, Peru's President Ollanta Humala, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L-R) attend the 10th Pacific Alliance Summit in Paracas, Peru, on July 2, 2015. (Xinhua/Luis Camacho)
SANTIAGO, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc grouping Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, will step up efforts to boost cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region, especially China, an official has said.
Leaders of the group will meet next week in Chile to discuss ways to forge closer ties and take joint efforts to approach the Asian markets, said Andres Rebolledo, chief of international economic relations at the Chilean Foreign Ministry.
All four member countries have the same interest in jointly approaching the Asian markets. Each year they carry out dozens of joint activities in Asia, Rebolledo told a press conference.
The bloc has come to the point of "implementing a precise and concrete negotiation (for a free trade agreement) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," Rebolledo said.
Many of the 49 observer countries of the Pacific Alliance are also keen to seek more cooperation with China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
Chile will take the presidency of the trade bloc at a summit to be held at the Chilean city of Puerto Varas from Tuesday to Friday. A Chinese delegation will attend the meeting, as well as representatives from Germany, Britain and Israel, among others.
Formed in 2011, the Pacific Alliance is a free trade zone with the initial goal of furthering free trade with a clear orientation toward Asia.