The General Secretariat of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) announced on Tuesday that trade between its four member countries—Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru—reached $10.4 billion in 2012. Exports within the bloc grew 12 percent, while exports to countries outside the bloc grew 3 percent in 2012.
The CAN has facilitated intra-regional trade in a number of areas but with the greatest emphasis on manufactured goods, which accounted for 75 percent of exports ($7.5 billion) last year. This includes soybean oil, refined copper wire, ultra-light aircraft, and medication.
Countries within the regional trading bloc have seen tremendous growth despite the global financial crisis. Peru boasts the second-fastest growing economy in Latin America averaging 7 percent growth per year for the past eight years. In comparison to the 3 percent average growth for the region in 2012, other members also saw high relative growth rates: Bolivia grew 5.0 percent last year, Colombia grew 4.5 percent and Ecuador’s economy grew 4.8 percent.