Colombia and Peru, two of the Andean regions most promising economies, have signed agreements on a range of economic and social issues, enabling much closer cooperation on “governance and social affairs, business opportunities, security and defense, and border affairs.”
Colombia and Peru have proven to be the Andean region’s – and in many ways, Latin America’s – two most promising economies since the 2008 financial crisis, largely thanks to high commodity prices filling national accounts with billions of dollars of mainly Chinese and US cash.
When the presidents of Colombia and Peru met in Iquitos, Peru, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, to discuss increased cooperation on key social and economic issues, it was something of a ceremony, one toasting to the massive successes the two countries have seen over the past decade, lifting themselves up from long histories of guerrilla warfare, corruption and poverty.
With rising gold and copper exports attracting huge inflows from international investors in Peru, and oil exports doing the same in Colombia, the two nations have each outpaced all other Andean nations in foreign investment and GDP growth.
Colombia and Peru FDI
Colombia and Peru GDP
However, the very nature of these crucial economic engines stress the use – or as some have protested, the abuse – of natural and social environments and resources.
Both Colombia and Peru have poured billions into their mining and resource extraction sectors, creating massive amounts of wealth but equally large problems with local community protest, environmental degradation and illegal groups taking control of operations.
The latter issue of groups taking control of areas and beginning illegal mining operations is a large concern to both nations, where the two share large forested and rural countrysides where narcotraffickers and guerrilla groups control large territories.
President Santos addressed this concern at the meeting, saying “…there is one in particular that we want to work on and be more effective, which is the delinquency of criminal mining, which is wreaking havoc in both countries, and we have decided to strengthen cooperation to be more effective.”
The accords signed by the two Pacific Alliance nations should, among other things, seek to bring them closer together in loosening some of the bottlenecks their commodity industries share.
But it’s more than just an industry roundtable. The accords, which amounted to the signing of 11 cooperation agreements, touched everything from education to technology to women’s rights.
“We wan to to bring more welfare, more jobs, more investment,and more tourism to Peru and Colombia,” said Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.
11 Signed Agreements
1. Inter-institutional Agreement between the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations of the Republic of Peru and the Administrative Department for Social Prosperity of the Republic of Colombia.
This agreement aims to promote the exchange of experiences to identify and care for children and adolescents working in mining operations and in situations of risk and vulnerability and social protection for older persons.
2. Framework Cooperation Agreement between the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation COLCIENCIAS in Colombia and the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation CONCYTEC in Peru.
The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation relations, through science, technology and innovation activities carried out in different areas, such as agriculture, biodiversity, biotechnology and social appropriation of knowledge.
3. Bilateral commitment to reduce the theft of mobile devices between the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) of Peru and the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MINTIC) of Colombia.
The purpose of this agreement is to develop a joint workforce to reduce illegal market theft of mobile devices in their respective countries, establish methodologies to assess progress in these efforts.
4. Framework Convention on inter-agency cooperation between the Agency for Supervision of Forest Resources and Wildlife – OSINFOR and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in Colombia MINAMBIENTE.
This agreement aims at establishing interagency coordination links and mutual cooperation between the two entities, with the aim of contributing to the conservation, prevention, monitoring, control and monitoring of forest resources and wildlife, through the exchange of experiences and information within the scope of their institutional competence and national politics in both countries.
5. Memorandum of Understanding between the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD); Estimating the National Center for Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction (CENEPRED); and the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI).
The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the National System for Disaster Risk Management in both countries through cooperation through the exchange of knowledge and experience, particularly in the areas of assessment, prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
6. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of the Republic of Peru and the Ministry of Housing, City and Territory of Colombia concerning technical cooperation in the field of water and sanitation.
The objective of this agreement is to encourage dialogue between the relevant sectors for the provision of sustainable water systems and sanitation through the cooperation between ministries and institutions of both Parties.
7. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Peru and the Ministry of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Colombia on cooperation in the field of mining gold, silver, copper and other metallic and non-metallic minerals ; and sustainable development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
This agreement aims to promote the development of the mining industry through cooperation through the exchange of knowledge, information, experiences and technologies related to the sector. It will also allow the promotion of joint solving of effective and sustainable way the needs of the communities in the border areas between the two countries share.
8. Memorandum of Understanding between the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) and the Administrative Department of Civil Service (DAFP).
The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation relations, activities through exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of modernization of the State, administrative simplification, citizen services, good governance, for which the relevant agreements will be signed International Cooperation.
9. Roadmap for the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement for the exchange of experiences and best practices in employment and signed between the Ministry of Labour of Colombia and the Ministry of Labour and Employment Promotion of Peru labor relations.
This agreement provides a roadmap to implement specific aspects of the Cooperation Agreement for the Exchange of Experiences and Best Practices in employment and labor relations. Among the topics of interest to review the roadmap include the Registration System Integrated Child Labour, the One-Stop Employment Promotion, job formalization and analysis of the problem of child labor in the border zone.
10. Calendar of sports cooperation between the Peruvian Sports Institute -IPD- of the Republic of Peru and the Administrative Department of Sport, Recreation, Physical Activity and the Development of Leisure – COLDEPORTES- of the Republic of Colombia for the year 2015.
This calendar will establish a schedule of agency activities, in order to strengthen ties of cooperation between the two sectors, will feature signature of the Directors and the endorsement of the Minister of Education of Peru.
11. Letter of Intent between the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the Ministry of Education of Peru.
The letter expresses the will of both parties to strengthen the bonds of cooperation in higher education, by materializing the Mutual Recognition Agreement Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education signed on 23 April 1994. The parties also manifest their willingness to create a Bilateral Technical Commission in order to assess their implementation.