This book is directed toward business people, lawyers and public officials who have to deal with the complex economic structures being created by a myriad of new integration associations. Recently, Business Latin America ran an imaginary job description for a "LAIA Coordinator," highlighting the need of multinational corporations for personnel knowledgeable about the Latin American Integration Association.
To a significant extent, the success of these integration efforts, at least in market economies, will depend on private companies taking advantage of the opportunities offered. To do so, firms and their attorneys will require information about the various markets. Likewise, effective implementation of these integration schemes will call for understanding and sympathetic government administrators. Educational institutions in turn must assume the task of training the people without whom the system cannot work.
With these concerns in mind, I began collecting materials on integration some 15 years ago. Fortunately, my work has taken me to a number of cities where integration activities have been centered: Arusha, Tanzania; Havana; Montevideo, Uruguay; Moscow; Jakarta, Indonesia; Lima, Peru; and Lagos, Nigeria. Everywhere local lawyers and public officials have been most helpful in sharing their experience and in providing useful materials. Without such assistance, this book could not have been produced.
Although the word law is used in the title, this is not intended as a law book exclusively for lawyers. Rather my objective has been to prepare a study easily comprehended by any layperson interested in the subject. Likewise, I have tried to write so as to minimize difficulties for readers to whom English is a second language.
Understanding the legal profession's desire to see primary sources, I have included in the appendixes many of the key provisions from the various integration agreements. Unfortunately, space limitations prevent reprinting these documents in their entirety; but in most cases citations have been given to English sources where the full text is available.
This study on economic integration hopefully will be the first in a series of books examining the role of law in economic development and wealth distribution in the Third World. Other subjects that may be covered in future volumes include private investment, mixed and planned economies, as well as foreign trade.
Business Latin America, January 25, 1984, p. 26.