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Synergies between the Pacific Alliance and the Visegrád Group - A high level working group meeting in Budapest

On June 5, 2018, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted a roundtable discussion on the Synergies between the Pacific Alliance and the Visegrád Group with leading experts in the field. H.E. María Verónica Chahin Sarah, the Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Adela Maestre Cuello, the Director of Regional Integration and Concentration Mechanisms of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Santiago Mateos Cibrián, Deputy Director General for Integration in Latin America and the Caribbean – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico –, and Julio Alexis Taquía Salcedo, charge d’affairs of the Embassy of Peru in Budapest – engaged in an open dialogue with V4 officials, moderated by Nagy Sándor Gyula Ph.D. (senior research fellow, IFAT).

The purpose of the event was to exchange ideas and discuss opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two regional organizations, the Pacific Alliance and the Visegrád Group. The event provided an ideal setting for civil servants, researchers, and experts in Latin American issues to identify existing challenges and solutions to overcome them.

The current objective of both blocs is to create more intense cooperations to identify common interests from a bottom-up approach, on the level of NGOs, universities, think tanks, and other organizations. The experts agreed that the core of the Pacific Alliance’s success is its inclusive mechanism grounded on shared values and open, coherent goals. Beyond economic cohesion and trade, member states within their respective blocs are integrated through tourism, education, science and technology development, and overall information sharing.

However, at present, there aren’t high degrees of political and economic integration between the countries of the Pacific Alliance and the Visegrád Group. Nevertheless there are shared values and interests upon which higher degrees of cooperation could be established. One place to start would be to promote academic integration and the interchange of ideas on a university level.