12 March News Brief South America

Santiago Meza

LIMA, Peru – CAN countries experience historic trade growth in 2008: Trade between Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, member countries of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), increased by 22 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, reaching a historic record of US$7.17 billion. Peru saw the greatest growth in intra-community exports with US$1.55 billion, followed by Colombia with US$2.69 billion. Bolivia’s increased to US$464 million and Ecuador’s to US$2.46 billion.

[Reuters, EFE, DPA]

QUITO, Ecuador – Bolivia ratifies Unasur treaty: On 11 March, Bolivia became the first country to ratify its inclusion in the Constituent Treaty of the South American Union of Nations (Unasur). The Unasur Treaty was signed in Brasilia on 23 May, 2008, by Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The aim of Unasur is to promote and deepen relations between countries in Latin America. The organisation’s temporary presidency will be held by Chile until May 2009.

[Presidencia de Ecuador, EFE, ANSA]

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Uruguay to reduce 2009 economic growth forecast to two percent: Economy vice-minister Andrés Masoller said that the Uruguayan government is considering reducing its 2009 economic growth forecast from three to two percent due to the effects of the international crisis. “We are also thinking of adjusting the tax deficit forecast, because the deficit is going to be a little higher than our projected target at the end of last year, which was estimated at one percent of GDP,”.

[El Espectador, Reuters, AP]

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