The Latin-American Integration Association (ALADI)
The Latin-American Integration Association (ALADI) was created when the Treaty of Montevideo was signed on 12.8.1980 in Montevideo, Uruguay, where it is based.
Its objective is to create a Latin American common market by granting regional tax preferences in the region and signing regional partial scope agreements.
Member countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Observer countries: China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and Switzerland.
Observer organisations: IDB, CAF, ECLAC, IICA, OAS, PAHO/WHO, UNDP, SELA and EU.
The organisational structure of ALADI consists of the Council of Ministers of Foreign
Affairs – which is the supreme organ and has the role of setting objectives and taking
decisions corresponding to adopting the ultimate policy; Committee of Representatives,
which is the permanent forum for negotiating projects designed to enhance the integration process; the Conference of Evaluation and Convergence that is encumbered with promoting the functioning of the different mechanisms stated in the Treaty of Montevideo, as well as taking far-reaching actions in terms of integration; and the General Secretariat, which is responsible for technical support, drafting regional and partial agreements and resolutions on regulating topics and free trade and cooperation.
The Latin-American Integration Association (ALADI) consists of an area of economic
preferences with a view to achieving the long-awaited Latin American common market.
The area of preferences that substitutes the planned free trade area that had embodied ALALC (Latin-American Free Trade Alliance), comprises three mechanisms: regional tariff preferences toward third countries; regional scope agreements, with the participation of all member countries; and partial scope agreements, so called because they are between two or more member countries but not among them all.
The Regional Tariff Preference was established under a regional scope agreement. The other similar agreements already approved are: those that fix the market opening lists in favour of Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay; that which considers actions of scientific and technological cooperation; and cultural, educational and scientific exchange and cooperation.
According to the General Secretariat calculations in May 2003, the total agreements signed, except for those that had expired, were one hundred and three instruments, seven of which had a regional and ninety-six with partial scope. The latter included thirty-nine for economic complementation, eight for renegotiation, two cattle raising, twelve trade promotion, fourteen supporting article 14 and twenty-one supporting article 25 of the Treaty. It all confirmed the predominance of bi or multilateralism before regionalism in the scope of the Association.
Special mention should be made to the following economic complementation agreements, which provide for establishing free trade areas between its signatories:
• AAP.CE.5: Mexico-Uruguay (pursuant to the 15th Protocol, substituting the original
agreement and prevailing from 1st March 2001)
• AAP.CE18: MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay)
• AAP.CE23: Chile-Venezuela
• AAP.CE24: Chile-Colombia
• AAP.CE31: Bolivia-Mexico
• AAP.CE32: Chile-Ecuador
• AAP.CE33: Group of Three (Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela)
• AAP.CE35: MERCOSUR-Chile
• AAP.CE36: MERCOSUR-Bolivia
• AAP.CE38: Chile-Peru
• AAP.CE41: Chile-Mexico
• AAP.CE60: Mexico-Uruguay
Latest decisions towards the integration process
The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, on occasion of their Thirteenth Meeting on 18th October 2004, formalised the programme designed to gradually constitute a “free trade area” (FTA) within the Association. Resolution 59 of the 13th Meeting approved the “Bases of a programme for gradual constitution of a free trade area in ALADI”.
Concerning the road to take, it indicates that it should continue with the current negotiating strategy, deepening the Free Trade Agreements already signed and promoting negotiations underway or those for an FTA to be signed by the countries that still have fixed preference agreements. And with regard to the free trade area components, it mentioned that “the gradual development of free trade areas in ALADI will respect the deregulation dates, regulatory frames agreed in the different agreements and the principles of pluralism, convergence, flexibility and differential treatments, as well as compatibility with the prevailing agreements, instrumentation through TM80 mechanisms and the coexistence with extra-regional negotiations of the member countries”.
Soon after, the Council of Ministers sanctioned Resolution 60 (XIII) on “The role of ALADI and its functions for the development and consolidation of the regional integration process”.
Its third article determines that “The Committee will promote the identification of modalities that permit through a gradual compatible and harmonious process, adoption of common disciplines and regulations required to develop and strengthen the Free Trade Area, part of which will be trade of services, intellectual property, protection of traditional know-how, investments, double taxation, public sector procurement and competition policies”.
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