The Bolivia-Peru border extends over 1047 km, from the Altiplano plateau in the south constituted by the surroundings of Lake Titicaca, to the northern Amazonian sector along the Madre de Dios river. The cross-border area comprises the Peruvian Departments of Tacna, Puno and Madre de Dios, and the Bolivian Departments of La Paz and Pando. The most important cities near the border on the Peruvian side are Tacna, Juliaca and Puno and on the Bolivian side are El Alto, La Paz and Cobija.
Both countries are members of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), the South American Nations Union (UNASUR) and the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States).
The bilateral relationships between Bolivia and Peru are based on the deep historical and cultural bonds that unite both countries. The integration efforts took significant momentum at the beginning of the 2000’s from the establishment of a cross-border integration area (Zona de Integración Fronteriza - ZIF), the development of an Integrated Action Plan Peru-Bolivia (Plan de Acción Integrado Perú-Bolivia - PAIPB). The global strategy is monitored through regular Presidential meetings and a Binational Technical Group is in charge of its implementation and evaluation. The Plan sets out strategic cross-border projects in the fields of :
- Conservation and integrated use of transnational water resources,
- Integration and productive development of the Amazonian sector,
- Strategic cooperation in the Oil & Gas and tourism sectors,
- Inter-institutional cooperation to promote Bolivian foreign trade through the Peruvian Ilo port.
In terms of infrastructure, a binational border service centre was inaugurated in April of 2018 in the Desaguadero crossing town, to expedite the migratory control of people and the foreign trade of both countries. Bolivia and Peru are also promoting the Bio-oceanic Integration Corridor, a USD 10 billion mega-project that aims to unite the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through a railway system.
Trade across the border is intensive (more than USD 950 million in 2016). Peru is responsible for 5.1% of Bolivia´s total exports (of which soybean meal represents more than 50%) and Bolivia for 1.6% of Peru´s total exports (with a more diversified portfolio, led by iron and chemical based products).
In the Andean sector of the Border area, promising value chains have been identified and already benefit from specific support actions, in the binational and international frameworks (namely through the INPANDES project, UE/CAN, 2015-2018). These value chains are : camelids, indigenous potatoes, coffee and community-based tourism. The tourism value chain, in particular, pose great opportunities for transnational cooperation to improve the travel experience in the Cuzco-Puno-Copacabana-La Paz Inca route through the modernization of the current supply of services aligned with developments of tourism 4.0., leveraging on the more than 3 million tourists that visit Cuzco each year.
In the Amazonian area of the border, the value chains with greater potential have been more recently identified through a smart specialization approach and have been included in a development plan for this geographical sector of the ZIF issued in September 2018 : Amazonian mountain fruits ; tourism ; pisciculture and coffee. The development of these industries is promising but faces great challenges, namely in terms of market access, due to long distance from large urban centers and poor communication infrastructures.