The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Alliance (PA), a regional integration initiative comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, met on 29 September 2020 via video-conference to further strengthen relations between the two organisations during the first-ever interface between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and the National Coordinators of each Pacific Alliance Member.

Both sides had a fruitful exchange of views on a broad range of issues, including collective efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as efforts related to the recovery efforts of the negative impact of the pandemic on world economy. The ASEAN side described efforts to combat the pandemic in the region, including the holding of special ASEAN Summits, cooperation with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, as well as the establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. Measures currently underway and under consultations with regard to the post-pandemic economic recovery were also outlined. The ASEAN side also briefed the PA on developments of ASEAN Community building under the chairmanship of Vietnam 2020. The PA side explained that since March 13th, 2020, PA has been working on a COVID-19 Action Plan, to face the economic and trade effects of this world-wide pandemic. This action plan includes exchange of information on all measures being taken due to the pandemic, a trade facilitation through the acceptance of digitized certificates required for trade; a list of sensitive products in times of pandemic for a PA Supply Chain; SMEs support in issues such as E-Commerce, among other topics.

The Meeting noted the recent developments in ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance, including the outcomes of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings, and the 35th ASEAN Summit.

The two sides recognized the benefit of continuing to enhance economic ties. The two sides agreed to explore further cooperation through the development of a new ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Work Plan (2021-2023) to include areas such as the 4th Industrial Revolution; Trade and Investment, Connectivities; Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises (MSMEs); Education; Science, Technology and Innovation, Digital Economy; and Sustainable Development.

The Meeting was co-chaired from the ASEAN side by H.E. Mr. Ade Padmo Sarwono, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN, and from the Pacific Alliance side by H.E. Mr. Gustavo Ayares, Ambassador of Chile to Indonesia and ASEAN and Mrs. Angélica Romero, General Director for Multilateral Economic Affairs and PA National Coordination of Chile. The meeting was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States to ASEAN, the members of the National Coordinators as well as the Ambassadors of the Pacific Alliance countries to ASEAN, and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.