Undersecretary Rodrigo Yáñez participated in a panel, along with the Head of the EU Delegation to Chile, León de la Torre Krais, and the former Foreign Affairs Minister and CEIUC Advisor, Soledad Alvear. The panel, moderated by CEIUC Director Jorge Sahd, was part of the virtual seminar entitled “Chile-European Union post-pandemic: Political or trade ties?” The seminar was held to mark 17 years since the Association Agreement (AA) between Chile and the European Union came into effect. One of the most important and strategic for Chile, the agreement includes commitments in the areas of politics, economics and cooperation.
The Undersecretary emphasized that when the AA was signed, it was a transcendental step in Chile’s strategy of international insertion. Today, the EU is Chile’s third largest trading partner, the leading investor in Chile and the third largest regional market for our investments. He added that the trade part of the agreement covers an extensive range of disciplines in the trade in goods, services and investments and has therefore been effective in increasing bilateral trade in these areas. It is consequently of the utmost importance to complete the modernization process quickly and successfully.
Similarly, the Head of the EU Delegation to Chile, León de la Torre Krais, reiterated the European Union’s commitment “to move forward decisively and successfully with concluding the modernization process. Ambitious and innovative in terms of trade and sustainable development, the agreement will promote respect for labor rights, environmental standards, international expansion for SMEs and have a cross-cutting and ambitious approach to gender.”
CEIUC Director Jorge Sahd noted that “it’s important to make progress on updating the agreement with the European Union in order to further promote trade and investment from the European Union, including in the energy sector, and as a way to continue diversifying Chile’s presence abroad in the context of the growing geopolitical conflict between the United States and China.”
Trade between Chile and the EU has more than doubled since the agreement came into effect, growing from US$8.4 billion in 2003 to US$18.5 billion in 2019. The European Union is the third largest market for Chilean exports and remains the third largest supplier of goods. Today, the EU is the leading foreign investor in Chile.