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Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración
The Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración (the Latin American Integration Association; known as ALADI or, occasionally, by the English acronym LAIA) is a Latin American trade integration association, based in Montevideo. Its main objective is the establishment of a common market, in pursuit of the economic and social development of the region. Its members are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The 1980 Montevideo Treaty , signed on August 12 1980, is the global legal framework that establishes and governs ALADI. It sets the following general principles: pluralism, convergence, flexibility, differential treatment and multiplicity.
The ALADI promotes the creation of an area of economic preferences in the region, aiming at a Latin American common market, through three mechanisms:
- Regional tariff preference granted to products originating in the member countries, based on the tariffs in force for third countries
- Regional scope agreement, among member countries
- Partial scope agreements, between two or more countries of the area
Either regional or partial scope agreements may cover tariff relief and trade promotion; economic complementation; agricultural trade; financial, fiscal, customs and health cooperation; environmental conservation; scientific and technological cooperation; tourism promotion; technical standards and many other fields.
As the Montevideo Treaty is a "framework treaty", by subscribing to it, the governments of the member countries authorize their representatives to legislate through agreements on the economic issues of greatest importance to each country.
A system of preferences — which consists of market opening lists, special cooperation programs (business rounds, preinvestment, financing, technological support) and countervailing measures on behalf of the landlocked countries — has been granted to the countries deemed to be less developed (Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay), to favour their full participation in the integration process.
Any Latin-American country can join the 1980 Montevideo Treaty. Cuba was the last to accede, becoming a full member on August 26, 1999. In addition, ALADI is also open to all Latin American countries through agreements with other countries and integration areas of the continent, as well as to other developing countries or their respective integration areas outside Latin America.
As the institutional and normative "umbrella" of regional integration that shelters these agreements as well as the subregional ones (Andean Community, MERCOSUR, G-3 Free Trade Agreement, etc.) it is the aim of the Association to support and favour every effort in order to create a common economic area.
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