Executive Summary

This report compares and contrasts two Latin American trade blocs: the long-standing Mercosur alliance (the Southern Common Market formed by Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay in 1994, with Venezuela becoming a full member in 2012) and the more recently created Pacific Alliance (formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru in June 2012).

It assesses the differing approaches of the two blocs, and while concluding that the Pacific Alliance is a more clearly business and market-friendly organ- isation, the report asserts that from the point of view of companies operating in the region there is no simple black and white either/or type of choice to be made between the two blocs. In terms of market size and growth, the coun- tries involved have exhibited a range of diverse performances in recent years; looking forward we believe that this will continue to be the case.

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