The Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) was established by the Montevideo Treaty in August 1980 to replace the Latin American Free Trade Association, founded in February 1960. It aims to promote regional economic development and integration and works to secure preferential trading arrangements among member states. The Conference, comprising plenipotentiaries of the member governments, assesses the integration process and encourages negotiations between members. The Committee, the permanent political body of the Association, comprises a permanent and a deputy representative from each member country. In March 2001 Asociacion Latinoamericana de Integracion (ALADI) signed a co-operation agreement with the Andean Community to facilitate the exchange of information and consolidate regional and subregional integration. In July 2012 ALADI, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Corporacion Andina de Fomento concluded an inter-agency cooperation agreement establishing the internet-based Latin America/Asia-Pacific Observatory.