chapter  5
Regional Economic Integration
WithRobert N. Gwynne
Pages 11

When Latin American countries achieved independence in the first half of the nineteenth century, the highly centralised Spanish empire on the Latin American mainland divided into sixteen separate countries. Recent attempts at economic integration in Latin America began with the highly ambitious Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) in 1960, which attempted to liberalise trade between Brazil, Agentina, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia. When LAFTA had been seen to stagnate as a scheme of economic integration, five of its smaller members geographically attached to the Andes formed the Andean Pact in 1969. More successful as a scheme of economic integration was the Central American Common Market (CACM) created in 1960. Both the CACM and Andean Pact have attempted to create complex planning arrangements and harmonisation policies in order to rectify imbalances and give some advantages to the poorer countries.