Latin American Regional Organisations
The Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance was initiated in 2011 and formalised by a framework agreement in 2012. Its members – Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia – have outward-oriented trade liberalising policies. The Alliance aims to achieve the free movement of goods, services, capital and people among members. Australia became an observer in November 2012 and attended the May 2013 Summit held in Cali, Colombia and the June 2014 Summit in Punta Mita, Mexico. The other observers are Belgium, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay. Costa Rica and Panama are seeking full membership of the Alliance.
Australia works with the Pacific Alliance in the areas of environment, engaging with the Asia-Pacific and in education and training. Australia is also interested in engaging with the Alliance’s mining group.
Mercosur is a trade bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Bolivia is currently going through the ratification process to become a full member. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname are Associate Members. It was founded in 1991. Australia and New Zealand have a formal consultation mechanism – CER-Mercosur. The last CER-Mercosur consultations took place in October 2012.
The Central American Integration System
The Central American Integration System (SICA) was formally established in 1991. Australia became in observer in 2011. Since joining, Australia has attended summits in 2011 and 2012 and is active in the SICA security process.
Forum for East Asia and Latin American Cooperation
Forum for East Asia and Latin American Cooperation (FEALAC) is the only formal dialogue between countries in Latin America and East Asia. It draws together 36 countries from East Asia and Latin America aiming to strengthen the relationship between the two regions. It involves in-principle annual Foreign Ministers, Senior Officials and Working Group meetings. Three Working Groups on Science and Technology; the Economy and Society; and Politics, Culture, Education and Sport operate to build collaboration across these thematic areas.
Australia is a founding member of FEALAC, the first time Australia was accepted as a member in the Asia region. Australia has participated in FEALAC Foreign Ministers' and Senior Officials Meetings since FEALAC's inception in 1998.
The Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948. It has a permanent secretariat in Washington and includes all 35 independent states of the Americas, with the exception of Cuba.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was a Mexican initiative announced in 2012. CELAC’s membership is the same as the OAS except that it excludes Canada and the United States in includes Cuba. It has no permanent secretariat and is becoming a vehicle for engagement outside the region, with dialogues proposed or underway with China and the European Union.
The Union of South American Nations
The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) Consultative Treaty was signed in 2008, with entry into force in 2011. It includes all 12 independent South American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela). Unasur's Secretariat is located in Quito, Ecuador. The Union is focused on physical regional integration, including on energy, education, health, environment, infrastructure, security and democracy.
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was founded in 2004 by Cuba and Venezuela. They were joined by Antigua and Barbuda (2009), Bolivia (2006), Dominica (2008), Ecuador (2009), Nicaragua (2007) and St Vincent and Grenadines (2007).
Latin America's Trade and economic links with Australia
Australian Companies Operating in Latin America - 2014
From two dozen in 1999, there are now over 260 Australian companies in Latin America, including 51 ASX200 companies. Most began in Chile, before expanding to Brazil and Peru.
2013 Merchandise Trade with Latin America
In 2013, Australia's merchandise trade with Latin America was $6.9 billion, around 1.4% of Australia's global merchandise trade.
2013 Trade in Travel Services with Latin America
In 2013, Australia's services trade with Latin America was $2.4 billion, around 1.9% of Australia's global services trade. Trade in travel services made up a significant portion of Australia's services trade with Latin America, particularly due to the large number of Latin American students studying in Australia and growing number of Australia tourists travelling to Latin America.
|Education-related travel exports||Recreational travel exports||Business-related travel exports||Imports||Total|
Latin American student enrollment in Australia
Latin American Students in Australia over time
In 2013, there were over 37,000 Latin American students in Australia. Half were from Brazil and one third from Colombia.
Latin American Students in Australia Enrollments by Sector
Most Latin American students in Australia were studying English language or vocational courses.
Latin American Students in Australia by State
In 2013, one third of Latin American students were studying in NSW, one quarter in QLD, one sixth in Victoria and one tenth in Western Australia.
|State/Territory||Number of students|
Latin America's Trade with the World
Latin American merchandise exports
In 2002, 58.4 per cent of Latin American exports went to North America and 6.8 per cent to Asia. By 2012, exports to Asia, in particular China, had grown to make up 17.1 per cent of Latin American exports. In this period Latin American exports to Asia grew seven-fold, from around US$22.4 billion, to US$164.9 billion.
Latin American merchandise imports
In 2002 48.2 per cent of Latin American merchandise imports came from North America and 14.7 per cent from Asia. By 2012, the share of imports from Asia had almost doubled to 26.9 per cent while the share of imports from North America fell to 33.1 per cent. Imports from Asia during this period increased from US$45.8 billion to US$261.9 billion.
|Partner Country||2002 Exports US$m||2012 Exports US$m||2012 Imports US$m||2012 Imports US$m|
|Oceania & Antarctica||113||444||464||775|
Source: UN data on the DFAT STARS Database