Andean Community of Nations (CAN)

The Andean Community of Nations (Spanish: Comunidad Andina de Naciones, CAN) is a trade bloc comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The trade bloc was called the Andean Pact until 1996, and came into existence in 1969 with the signing of the Cartagena Agreement.

Andean Community headquarters are located in Lima, Peru. The trading bloc encompasses a combined population of 101 million (2010).

Facts on the Andean Pact

The Andean Community has 120 million inhabitants in an area of 4,700,000 square kilometers, and a Gross Domestic Product of US $900 billion (excluding Venezuela).

The Andean Community and Mercosur comprise the two main trading blocs in South America.

The Community organization includes Andean Presidential Council, Foreign Minister’s Council Commission, justice tribunal, congress and reserve Fund.

With the cooperation agreement with Mercosur, the Andean Community gained five new associate members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay.

Economic Development Stages of the Andean Pact

The original Andean Pact was founded in 1969 by Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In 1973, Venezuela joined the pact. Its membership was reduced when Chile withdrew in 1976, and Venezuela announced its withdrawal in 2006.

In 1994, the Common External Tariff (CET) was approved.

In July 2005, the four Mercosur members were granted associate membership by the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers. This move reciprocated the actions of Mercosur, which granted associate membership to all the Andean Community nations by virtue of economic agreements, Free Trade agreements, signed between the CAN and individual Mercosur members. The United States approved the pact in July 2005.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Andean Pact

From January 2005, citizens of the member countries can enter the other Andean Community member states without the requirement of visa. Additionally, the Andean Passport was created in June 2001; the passport is effective in Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela; Bolivia and Colombia have started issuing Andean passports.

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