Association For Latin America Integration
(Asociacion Latinoamericano de Integration-ALADI)
Establishment: The predecessor of the Association for the Latin American Integration is the Latin American Free Trade Association, which was set up in 1960. On 12 August 1980, the foreign ministers of the 11 member countries of the Latin American Free Trade Association signed an agreement in Montevideo, Capital of Uruguay, announcing the establishment of the Association for the Latin American Integration. The treaty officially entered into force on 18 March 1981 and the Latin American Free Trade Association stopped its activities of its own accord on the same day. The association is the most important inter-governmental integration organization in the Latin American region.
Aim: It is for promoting and coordinating trades between the member countries, enlarging the export market and economic cooperation, realizing regional economic integration on the basis of bilateral or multilateral cooperation, and finally attaining the aim of establishing the Latin American Common Market. The basic function of it is to provide protection for the integrated organization and the bilateral agreement of the small Latin American areas, and to offer convenience and consultations for the bilateral or multilateral trades.
Members: composed of 12 countries (up to 2001), which are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and Cuba. The member countries are classified into three grades according to their respective development in economy. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are the relatively developed countries, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and Cuba are the medium developed countries and Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia the less developed ones.
The countries have their permanent observers to the Association include: Costa Rica, Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Dominica, Honduras, Italy, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Romania and China.
The international organizations which have their permanent observers to the Association are: the UN Economic Committee for Latin America and Caribbean Region, the UN Planning and Development Commission, the America States Organization, the America Development Bank, the European Union, the Pan America Agricultural Cooperation Committee, the Andes Development Corporation and Pan America Health Organization and World Health Organization.
Leading Person in Charge: Secretary general, Juan Rojas Penso; Deputy Secretary general, Gustavo Moreno and Leonardo Mejia. They all assumed the posts on 19 March 1999.
Headquarters: It is located in Montevideo, Capital of Uruguay.
Publications: Sintesis ALADI, a monthly in Spanish; and News Letter, a bimonthly in English.
Organizations: 1. The Foreign Ministers Council, the supreme decision-making organ. 2. The Representatives Committee, the permanent political organ consisted of the representative of each member country, which has only one representative appointed, and the meeting is held once every year and special meetings may be called if necessary. Attachment bodies to it are a financial and monetary affairs committee (made up of the presidents of central banks of the member countries); an advisory committee on financial and monetary affairs and the meeting of customs directors of the member countries. 3. The meeting for appraisal and gathering, which is composed of the plenipotentiaries of the member countries with its meeting held once every three years, but special meetings may be called if necessary. 4. The secretariat, the administrative and technical organ with its secretary general holding the post for three years. 5. The Trade Guild Council, established in October 1986, which is in charge of coordinating the trades between private enterprises.
Major Activities: Its foremost task is to coordinate the strategy for economic development among the member countries and push forward the regional integration. The decisions made at the Foreign Ministers meeting held in December 1995 include: 1. The representatives committee is required to continuously work out the trade rules suitable for the agreement reached during the Uruguay talks; 2. A decision was made to join the tripartite committee, consisting of the American States Organization, the American Development Bank and the Latin American Economic Committee so as to support the talks on the American free trade zone; 3. To promote the talks between the sub-regional groups (the Andes Group, the South Common Market and the Three Countries Group) composed of the member countries of the association, to strengthen the ties with the Central America and the Caribbean areas in an effort to push ahead the Latin American Integration; 4. It is reiterated that the aid to the underdeveloped countries, such as (Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay) would continue to be provided. In November 1998, it held the 10th session of the Ministers Council in Uruguay, attended by the foreign ministers and ministers of economy of the member states. All countries attending the meeting unanimously agreed that the role the association plays should continue as a tool for the regional integration so as to consolidate the status of the Latin American countries on the international arena at a time when the world economy is being globalized. Julio Maria Sanguinetti, President of Uruguay, pointed out in his speech that the ALADI, as the most valuable tool for the Latin American countries to cope with all sorts of crises in economic development, was to lead all the organizations in the Latin American sub-region to the integration. The "Political Declaration", which was passed at the session, emphasized the important roles played by the association in the regional integration. It appealed member countries to strengthen the economic relations and inter-flow of trades, promote the talks between the local and the region, and work out a common criteria for the regional trade and mutual economic cooperation in line with the rules and regulations set forth by the World Trade Organization. It was announced at the session that Cuba was accepted as its full member and Juan Rojas Penso, a Venezuelan secretary general elected to replace Antunes, a Brazilian whose terms of office was going to be wound up in March 1999.
On 25 August 1999, the Minister Council of the Association for the Latin America Integration held a special meeting in Montevideo, at which Cuba was accepted as the 12th full member country of the ALADI and defined as a member country with a "medium developed" economy.
Relations between China and ALADI:
On 15 June 1994, the 525th meeting of the representatives of the permanent political organ of the ALADI made a decision to accept the People's Republic of China as its observer state. China is the first Asian observer state to the ALADI, and the present permanent observer of China to the ALADI is Huo Shuzhen, Chinese ambassador to Uruguay. On 24 Oct. 2000, Ambassador Huo presented her Letter of Attorney to Rojas,Chairman and Secretary General of the Executive Committee of ALKADI.