The Governments of Bolivia and Peru closed agreements on Tuesday for improving their trade relations. The pact will allow the high plateau country of Bolivia to have access to the Pacific Ocean for their exports.
The presidents of Bolivia and Peru, Evo Morales and Alan García, signed the agreement in the Peruvian port of Ilo.
The agreement is an extension of the one signed in 1992 in which Peru ceded an industrial and commercial zone to the landlocked Bolivia.
After signing the agreement, Morales said that “Bolivia has recovered a sovereign outlet to the sea, thanks to the will of the Government and the Peruvian people.”
Additionally he remarked that the agreements reached with Peru are “historic, unprecedented, and unique for two neighbors and brothers who have always been united by their culture and history.”
And he remarked that “Bolivia will eventually recover it’s sovereignty in the Pacific coast, because it is something indispensible.”
For his part, García described that the relation with Bolivia was like a “fruitful friendship” and he said that the Bolivian president’s visit was positive for them in various ways, putting an end to the “bickering without words.”
Bolivia lost their sovereign access to the Pacific in the territorial war with Chile in 1879, in which Peru was allied with Chile. From then the country has searched for a solution to the problem because it has been an obstacle to development.
With the covenant of 1992, Peru ceded to Bolivia a fragment of coast 17km from Ilo, between the departments of Moquegua and Tacna. The pact had a term of renewal for 99 years.
With the new agreement the covenant has extended access to major port facilities and offered free transit in the area ceded to Bolivia. The area will also be fitted with Bolivian industry and cargos for the exportation of their products.
Story courtesy of Agencia Pulsar, a news agency run by AMARC-ALC network of community radios.