Peruvian President Pedro Castillo Terrones Monday welcomed his colleagues from Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia, Luis Arce for the Council of the Andean Community (CAN) summit in Lima.
Military honors were offered to Presidents Guillermo Lasso, Luis Arce Catacora, and Gustavo Petro after the XXII Andean Presidential Council, in which Peru took over the group's Pro Tempore Presidency from Ecuador.
Castillo and Petro also had a separate one-on-one encounter to discuss trade, security, and collaboration with Brazil for the defense and development of the Amazon rainforest, during which they agreed to meet again in Caballococha, a Peruvian city in the Amazonian department of Loreto, although they did not set a specific date.
The Peruvian leader also thanked Lasso for his presence as they reviewed the issue of border populations.
Castillo celebrated the CAN's 53 years of existence and called for greater integration. The group created in 1969 also included Chile until 1976, and Venezuela until 2006, but the Augusto Pinochet and Hugo Cáhez regimes opted out. The Peruvian President considered it of the utmost importance to bring back Chile and Venezuela as full members.
In line with what is expressed in the founding act of our community, where integration constitutes a historical, political, economic, social, and cultural mandate of our countries, we will work actively so that this integration can unite all Andean peoples,
Argentina joining the alliance was also suggested: ”The more voices we bring together and agree on, the better, the more powerful the voice (of the CAN) will be. If we manage to integrate again Chile, Venezuela, and Argentina in the new scenario, it would change substantially and our voice would be heard much more in world scenarios, Petro argued.
Lasso underlined that the integrationist path posed permanent challenges toward common strategic targets, while Arce insisted it was extremely necessary to strengthen the integrationist spirit under the principles of cooperation, complementarity, and solidarity, in order to face the new challenges in a united manner.”
The member countries also agreed to reactivate the High-Level Group on Border Integration and Development (Ganidf), in order to address the challenges facing the borders and improve the living conditions of their inhabitants.
The CAN is currently made up of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, which involves joint work in favor of the more than 112 million Andean citizens. In 2021 alone, it recorded a total of US$ 8,667 million in intra-community exports, 32% more than in 2020; and US$ 136.448 billion in total exports, 42 % above 2020 figures.