Final deal to lift trade tariffs in LatAm bloc very close -Mexico
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico, Aug 25 (Reuters) - A Latin American bloc comprising Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile has almost concluded negotiations to remove tariffs on all trade between them, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Sunday.
At a meeting in Colombia in May, the four member states of the Pacific Alliance group agreed to eliminate tariffs on 90 percent of those goods and services, and Guajardo said they were very close to a deal on the remaining 10 percent.
"In the case of goods and services, we're practically in the last one percent of agreements," Guajardo told a news conference as trade and foreign ministers from the Pacific Alliance prepared to meet in the Caribbean resort of Playa del Carmen.
"The most important feature is that nothing was off the table in terms of removing duties," he added.
The member states were also close to final agreement on terms governing the rules of origin, Guajardo said.
A few issues, including how to tackle some agricultural products, still need to be ironed out, but the plan is to conclude the trade talks on Monday, Guajardo said.
Favoring stronger trade with fast-growing Asian economies, the members of the Pacific Alliance group aim to promote free market policies to spur growth, attract more foreign investment and integrate their capital markets and energy networks.
The four nations have a combined population of more than 210 million and the group's total gross domestic product accounts for more than a third of Latin America's GDP.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Christopher Wilson)