Andean Community (CAN)

  • The Andean Community founded in South America to promote economic, agricultural, social, and trade cooperation, also known as Comunidad Andina (CAN), was formerly known as the Andean Group (1969–1977). The Cartagena Agreement led to the formation of the group in 1969, which initially included Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Venezuela joined in 1973 but left in 2006, and Chile left in 1977. Peru’s membership was terminated in 1992, but it was reinstated in 1997. Lima, Peru, serves as the home base for CAN.
  • The several organizations that make up CAN’s Andean Integration System all work to promote integration. The Andean Parliament, made up of members of national legislatures, though it was intended to become a directly elected parliament early in the 21st century; the five-member Court of Justice of the Andean Community, which interprets CAN laws to elucidate their meaning; the Andean Presidential Council, an organization of the presidents of member countries that coordinates integration efforts; When CAN ratified the Quito Protocol in 1987, which aimed to strengthen the organization’s institutions and reaffirm its members’ commitment to closer economic relations, many of its goals, including the creation of a customs union and the creation of ambitious industrial programs, had not been realized. With varying degrees of success, CAN made an effort in the 1990s to bring its members’ economies up to the level of the European Union.
  • A free-trade zone for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela was established in 1993. The Andean Group also started coordinating its customs policy that year, and in 1994, it came to an agreement on a unified external tariff that covered 90% of imports. Later, CAN supported a deal to gradually eliminate tariffs between Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. In 1998, CAN started creating a framework to establish a shared foreign strategy. An agreement to establish a free-trade zone from Mexico to Argentina was reached as a consequence of discussions with Mercosur (the Southern Common Market), a South American regional economic organization made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. On July 1, 2004, the free-trade zone came into being after protracted negotiations.
Important Andean institutions include the following:

The CAN has the following institutions in addition to the Andean Council of Presidents and the Council of Foreign Ministers:

  • The General Secretariat, which has a full-time Secretary General, is the executive body. Adalid Contreras Baspineiro, a Bolivian, is serving as acting secretary general at the moment. Its headquarters are in Lima, Peru.
  • The Andean Parliament, which is located in Bogota, Colombia, serves as the body that advises on policy. It is made up of 5 Members of Parliament who are directly elected for a term of 5 years from each member nation.
  • The Andean Court of Justice, located in Quito, Ecuador, is a body that arbitrates conflicts involving its member nations.
  • The Latin American Development Bank (CAF), which contributes more than 40% of members’ needs despite being significantly larger and having 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries as shareholder countries, is the largest external lender. Over US$ 2 billion in total credit is awarded annually by CAF. Projects for regional integration, international business funding by banks, corporations, and government initiatives are given credit. CAF has made a name for itself as an effective regional fund with solid fundamentals and a high credit rating. A US$ 10 million line of credit has been made available to CAF by Exim Bank of India. Caracas, Venezuela is where CAF is located.
  • The Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR) is a collective reserve fund that works to increase the stability of its member nations’ external positions and develop regional ties. It started out as the Andean Reserve Fund and got going in 1978. Other countries from Latin America were allowed to join in 1988. FLAR currently has members from Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Venezuela in addition to the four CAN members. Its main office is in Bogota.
  • Simon Bolvar Andean University – This institution includes campuses in Quito, La Paz, Caracas, and Cali in addition to its flagship campus in Sucre, Bolivia.

There are 100 million people living in the Andean Community, and their total GDP is $580 billion. CAN was founded in 1969, but it didn’t start operating until the 1990s, with the creation of a Customs Union in February 1995 and a Free Trade Area in February 1993. The integration process has slowed considerably as a result of internal issues in these nations in recent years. Today, all products of Andean provenance are freely circulating inside the CAN. The exports of the Andean community to the globe for the months of January through November 2012 totaled US $ 116 billion, up 2% from the corresponding period in 2011. When compared to the same time last year, intra-community exports climbed by 13% (from US $ 8.4 billion to US $ 9.5 billion) over the months of January through November 2012.

Free flow of people

Since January 1, 2005, nationals of the member nations are not required to have a visa in order to enter the other Andean Community members. All that is required of passengers is their national ID cards.
In June 2001, the Andean passport was established. All four of the member countries’ passports are issued using a single model with standardized terminology and security features.

CAN and Mercosur


The two biggest economic blocs in South America are the Andean Community and Mercosur, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. They began negotiations and signed a Framework Agreement in April 1998 to establish a Free Trade Area between them. Following the conclusion of the first step of signing by the CAN of economic complementarity or tariff preference agreements with specific Mercosur members, each CAN member then signed a free trade agreement with Mercosur. Through the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which is modeled after the European Union, CAN and Mercosur have since been leading efforts to further integrate all of South America.

CAN and India

In order to deepen and broaden their friendship, mutual understanding, and collaboration as well as to foster trade, investment, and cultural and scientific interactions, India and CAN formed a Political Dialogue and collaboration Mechanism in June 2003. On January 21, 2010, MOS Dr. Shashi Tharoor met with the Andean Ambassadors accredited to Lima, the then-Chair Pro Tempore (Peru) of CAN, and CAN Secretary General Freddy Ehlers. India’s interest in enhancing its political, economic, and cooperative ties with the Andean Community was underlined by MOS Dr. Tharoor. The CAN Secretary General intended to collaborate in the areas of science and technology, rural development, energy and food security, and the environment. The CAN Chair Pro Tempore reiterated the member nations’ interest in hosting the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism’s First Meeting.

CAN community is deal with the following issues:

  • Trade in Goods
  • Trade in Services
  • Customs Union
  • Circulation of Persons
  • Common Market
  • Common Foreign Policy
  • Border Development
  • Social Agenda
  • Sustainable Development
  • Economic Policies

The reengineering of the Andean Integration System (SAI) was started in July 2011 after the CAN Presidents reiterated their commitment to strengthening Andean integration. On October 29, the two Andean parliaments convened in Lima to debate and decide on coordinated actions to address the issues faced by migrants abroad. Twenty legislators from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile attended the meeting, which also evaluated the rules governing the operation of the Union of South American Nations’ (UNASUR) parliament.


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