Setting aside ideological differences, the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru agreed to deepen economic integration as they gathered for the opening day of the Alianza del Pacifico, or Pacific Alliance, Summit Friday in Frutillar, Chile.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet stressed pragmatism over politics, saying that the Southern Common Market, known as Mercosur, should be integrated with the Alliance.
"We must create a dialogue with the countries of the Atlantic, and create a bridge between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance, to improve integration and achieve international projection," said Bachelet.
Echoing that sentiment, Peru's President Ollanta Humala said: "The Pacific Alliance goes beyond ideology, takes pragmatic decisions that are neither right nor left ideologies."
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The opening of the presidential summit coincided with the closing ceremony of the Business Summit of the Pacific Alliance, where 700 businessmen from the member countries participated.
The presidents spoke in an event moderated by the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno.
An integrated Latin America trading bloc, Colombian President Santos said, is key to expanding capital markets for the four countries.
"To insert ourselves successfully and provide an opportunity for our society to grow in this global world, there are different routes. We have chosen regional integration," said Peña Nieto.
The Summit also included speeches by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, and Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, two of the 49 observer countries.
As part of his first official meeting with the members of the trading bloc, Macri pledged to thaw a "frozen" Mercosur.