SANTIAGO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Finance ministers from Latin America's four-member Pacific Alliance on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to greater integration through free trade.
Gathering in Chile's capital Santiago, finance chiefs from Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, said that the rise in nationalism and protectionism in the United States and other parts of the world was all the more reason to promote open economies and spur international commerce.
"We have a more complicated global scenario that makes macro management especially important," Chilean Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes said.
The situation calls for "strong management," as well as "defending and pushing for integration, because the truth is that it benefits all of the citizens of our countries," added Valdes.
His Colombian counterpart Mauricio Cardenas noted that the members of the bloc are in a position to further promote integration and counter protectionism.
Alliance member countries outperformed average Latin American economies last year. Our "solid frameworks for managing macroeconomic policy" enabled us to "withstand the fluctuations of the global economy, and "we want to defend this principle of free trade," said Cardenas.
Alliance members also expressed their support for Mexico, which is about to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Trump administration of the United States, which claimed the two-decade deal has unfairly benefited Mexico.
"We can help Mexico negotiate, so that it is not a confrontation, but a negotiation," said Peruvian Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne.
"Issues can be resolved in a peaceful and harmonious way that can lead to greater growth for both economies," Thorne added.
The finance chiefs met in the lead up to the upcoming meeting with their counterparts from the signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, scheduled from March 14-15 in Vina del Mar, Chile.