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Although the agreements do not reach the goal of a Latin American common market -an objective that organizations like the Latin American Association for Free Trade (Alalc) and its successor, Aladi, have pursued since 1960- they group 72.5% of the region.

The final negotiations including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, besides Chile; a free trade partner, Mercosur, and the CAN members, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela, were held at the Aladi headquarters in Montevideo; the last touch of the hoped-for agreement.

The Mercosur and the CAN countries negotiated on an individual basis: Argentina and Brazil completed their agreements with Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. Uruguay has practically completed its negotiations, while there were difficulties on some points of Paraguay’s agreements with Ecuador and Colombia.

These differences will be settled by the Mercosur Permanent Court for Disagreements, in Asuncion, Paraguay. According to analysts, these agreements will be effective as of next October, and will allow a 10 billion $ increase in regional commerce in the next 10 years.

The “new” commercial bloc will total 56.2% of the Gross Internal Product (PIB) for the region, and will involve 85.4% of interregional trade.

Published in Quantum No 27