Finance ministers from Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru met investors in New York in an attempt to reassure the markets of the stability of their economies after a slump in commodity prices and economic malaise in Brazil.
The four countries, which formed the Pacific Alliance in 2011 to integrate their economies, explained to investors how theyâ€™ve have been responding â€œdiligentlyâ€ to the downturn, Peruvian Finance Minister Alonso Segura, said at a news conference at the offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York.
Mexico, Colombia and Chile have announced spending cuts in recent weeks after last yearâ€™s slump in oil and copper prices extended into 2016. The Bloomberg Commodities index fell to a record on Jan. 20 and is down 20 percent in the past year.
As growth slows, inflation accelerates and budget deficits widen, Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas called on investors to see the group as a club with sound economic policies.
â€œThe Pacific Alliance is associated with good practices,â€ said Cardenas. â€œWe all have strong macroeconomic policy frameworks. Itâ€™s a valuable asset in these turbulent times.â€
After agreeing to remove tariffs and trade restrictions between the four countries, theyâ€™re now looking to free up capital flows. Stock market integration is advancing even amid choppy global markets, and regulatory changes mean companies can now make initial public offerings to investors in all four countries simultaneously, Segura said.
â€œWeâ€™re four countries with serious, responsible economic policies,â€ Segura said. â€œWe recognize the global situation has changed especially for producers of raw materials. Weâ€™ve reacted in a timely way and will keep reacting as the circumstances dictate.â€