Foreign Affairs Minister Andrés Allamand took part today in the Chile-China Business Council meeting on an exceptional basis, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Chile and the People's Republic of China.
The council has met nine times a year since its creation in 2005, and dedicated the latest meeting to economic development and cooperation between the two countries after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is a very special opportunity to reaffirm the Chilean Government’s firm belief in the importance of defending free trade and opposing protectionism. The commitment of all countries to support an open, non-discriminatory trading system based on transparent rules is especially important in the current international context," said the Foreign Affairs Minister, who noted that trade relations between Chile and China are especially important in this particular scenario.
China is Chile's main trading partner, as it accounts for 35% of Chile’s exports and total trade last year amounted to US$ 40 billion. Meanwhile, shipments to China are becoming more diversified, as services are increasing, while the number of Chinese companies arriving in Chile is growing significantly.
The Minister commented that this "is a good opportunity to appreciate the ties that unite us with China and we hope to continue strengthening an even closer and mutually productive economic relationship, based on trust.” He also stressed the importance that Chile attaches to its relationship with Beijing, which is evidenced by Chile having been the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with China, the first country in the region to support the People's Republic of China’s application to join the World Trade Organization in 1999, and the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China in 2005.
"To achieve speedy and successful recovery after COVID-19, our countries should further strengthen our ties and encourage a constructive and pragmatic relationship," concluded the Foreign Affairs Minister.