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This article is about the trade association. For the farming implement, see Laia (tool).

Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración
Latin American Integration Association
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Administrative centerUruguay Montevideo, Uruguay
Working languages Template:Vunblist
Type Trade bloc
 -  Secretary General Carlos Alvarez
 -  Treaty of Montevideo 12 August 1980 
 -  Total 19,521,500 km2
7,537,293 sq mi
 -  2008 estimate 515,722,726
 -  Density 26.4/km2
68.4/sq mi
Time zone (UTC-3 to -8)

The Latin American Integration Association / Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración (LAIA / ALADI) is an international and regional scope organization. It was created on 12 August 1980 by the , replacing the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA / ALALC). Currently, it has 13 member countries, and any of the Latin American States may apply for accession.


The development of the integration process developed within the framework of the ALADI aims at promoting the harmonious and balanced socio-economic development of the region, and its long-term objective is the gradual and progressive establishment of a Latin-American Common Market.

Basic Functions

  • Promotion and regulation of reciprocal trade
  • Economic complementation
  • Development of economic cooperation actions contributing to the markets extension.

General Principles

  • Pluralism in political and economic matters;
  • Progressive convergence of partial actions for the establishment of a Latin-American Common Market;
  • Flexibility;
  • Differential treatments based on the development level of the member countries; and
  • Multiple forms of trade agreements.

Integration Mechanisms

The ALADI promotes the establishment of an area of economic preferences within the region, in order to create a Latin-American common market, through three mechanisms:

  • A Regional Tariff Preference applied to goods from the member countries compared to tariffs in-force for third countries.
  • Regional Scope Agreements, those in which all member countries participate.
  • Partial Scope Agreements, those wherein two or more countries of the area participate.

The Relatively Less Economically Developed Countries of the region (Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay) benefit from a preferential system, through the lists of markets opening offered by the countries in favor of the Relatively Less Economically Developed Countries; special programs of cooperation (business rounds, pre-investment, financing, technological support); and countervailing measures in favor of the land-locked countries, the full participation of such countries in the integration process is sought. The ALADI includes in its legal structure the strongest sub-regional, plurilateral and bilateral integration agreements arising in growing numbers in the continent. As a result, the ALADI – as an institutional and legal framework or “umbrella” of the regional integration- develops actions in order to support and foster these efforts for the progressive establishment of a common economic space.

Members of the ALADI / LAIA

Flag State Members Join Date Population Land Surface Exclusive Economic Zone Plataform Capital City
Argentina República Argentina
40.117.096 hb
2.780.400 km²
1.084.386 km²
856.346 km²
Buenos Aires
Bolivia Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
10.426.160 hb
1.098.581 km²
Sucre & La Paz
Brazil República Federativa del Brasil
190.732.694 hb
8.514.877 km²
3.660.955 km²
774.563 km²
Chile República de Chile
756.096,3 km²
3.681.989 km²
252.947 km²
Santiago de Chile
Colombia República de Colombia
45.656.937 hb
1.141.748 km²
817.816 km²
53.691 km²
Cuba República de Cuba
11.242.621 hb
110.860 km²
350.751 km²
61.525 km²
La Habana
Ecuador República del Ecuador
14.306.876 hb
283.561 km²
1.072.533 km²
41.034 km²
Mexico Estados Unidos Mexicanos
112.322.757 hb
1.972.550 km²
3.177.593 km²
419.102 km²
Mexico City
Paraguay República del Paraguay
406.752 km²
Panama República de Panamá
3.405.813 hb
78.200 km²
335.646 km²
53.404 km²
Panama City
Peru República del Perú
1.285.215,6 km²
906.454 km²
82.000 km²
Uruguay República Oriental del Uruguay
3.424.595 hb
176.215 km²
142.166 km²
75.327 km²
Venezuela República Bolivariana de Venezuela
30.102.382 hb
916.445 km²
860.000 km²
98.500 km²
19.651.873 km²
16.214.170 km²
2.839.313 km²

Accession of other Latin-American countries

The 1980 Montevideo Treaty is open to the accession of any Latin-American country. On 26 August 1999, the first accession to the 1980 Montevideo Treaty was executed, with the incorporation of the Republic of Cuba as a member country of the ALADI. On 10 May 2012, the Republic of Panama became the thirteenth member country of the ALADI. Likewise, the accession of the Republic of Nicaragua was accepted in the Sixteenth Meeting of the Council of Ministers (Resolution 75 (XVI)), held on 11 August 2011. Currently, Nicaragua moves towards the fulfillment of conditions for becoming a member country of the ALADI. The ALADI opens its field of actions for the rest of Latin America through multilateral links or partial agreements with other countries and integration areas of the continent (Article 25). The Latin-American Integration Association also contemplates the horizontal cooperation with other integration movements in the world and partial actions with third developing countries or their respective integration areas (Article 27).

Institutional Structure

Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs The Council of Ministers is the supreme body of the ALADI, and adopts the decisions for the superior political management of the integration process. It is constituted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries. Notwithstanding, when one of such member countries assigns the competence of the integration affairs to a different Minister or Secretary of State, the member countries may be represented, with full powers, by the respective Minister or Secretary. It is convened by the Committee of Representatives, meets and makes decisions with the presence of all the member countries.

Evaluation and Convergence Conference It is in charge, among others, of analyzing the functioning of the integration process in all its aspects, promoting the convergence of the partial scope agreements seeking their progressive multilateralization, and promoting greater scope actions as regards economic integration. It is made up of Plenipotentiaries of the member countries.

Committee of Representatives It is the permanent political body and negotiating forum of the ALADI, where all the initiatives for the fulfillment of the objectives established by the 1980 Montevideo Treaty are analyzed and agreed on. It is composed of a Permanent Representative of each member country with right to one vote and an Alternate Representative. It meets regularly every 15 days and its Resolutions are adopted by the affirmative vote of two thirds of the member countries.

General Secretariat It is the technical body of the ALADI, and it may propose, evaluate, study and manage for the fulfillment of the objectives of the ALADI. It is composed of technical and administrative personnel, and directed by a Secretary-General, who has the support of two Undersecretaries, elected for a three-year period, renewable for the same term.

Secretaries General

  • 1980–1984 Paraguay Julio César Schupp (Paraguay)
  • 1984–1987 Uruguay Juan José Real (Uruguay)
  • 1987–1990 Argentina Norberto Bertaina (Argentina)
  • 1990–1993 Colombia Jorge Luis Ordóñez (Colombia)
  • 1993–1999 Brazil Antônio José de Cerqueira Antunes (Brasil)
  • 2000–2005 Venezuela Juan Francisco Rojas Penso (Venezuela) [1]
  • 2005–2008 Uruguay Didier Opertti (Uruguay) [2]
  • 2008–2009 Paraguay Bernardino Hugo Saguier-Caballero (Paraguay)
  • 2009–2011 Paraguay José Félix Fernández Estigarribia (Paraguay) [3]
  • 2011–2014 Argentina Carlos Alvarez (Argentina)

See also


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