Israel has been accepted as an observer state to the Pacific Alliance, a Latin America trade block, the Israeli Prime Minister's Media Adviser announced in a statement.
According to the statement, Israel's acceptance to the block followed attempts by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to increase cooperation with leaders of the states that are members of the alliance. The statement also added that it is part of Netanyahu's policy "to develop new markets for the Israeli economy. "
The statement added that Netanyahu himself will make a trip to South America in April, in which he will visit Colombia and Mexico, in order to promote the economic cooperation with those countries.
"This is an additional step in ensuring the continued growth of the Israeli economy," Netanyahu was quoted as saying in the statement. "We are diversifying the state of Israel's international markets."
The trade block was established in June 2012 and included Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica. There are more than 25 observer states including China, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and others.
Observer states are invited to take part in the daily work of the alliance as well as attend its conferences as part of increasing cooperation between those states and the Latin America ones.
The Gross National Product (GNP) in the alliance is worth over two trillion U.S. dollars making it the eighth largest economy in the world. According to the Israeli PM's office, Israel currently exports 864 million U.S. dollars to the Pacific Alliance countries annually, one percent of Israel's overall exports.
Israel is currently facing a growing threat of boycotts from the international community over its settlements policy in the West Bank and might suffer great economic losses as a result of these bans.