November 26, 2020
Foreign Trade

Foreign Ministry officials and the private sector address future foreign trade challenges

Foreign Ministry officials and the private sector address future foreign trade challenges
Foreign Affairs Minister Andrés Allamand said, “Chile must move towards the future and this involves giving our trade policy a new stimulus by modernizing and upgrading it so it is in keeping with the times and continues to offer extensive benefits to everyone.”

A webinar entitled “The future of foreign trade: Where are we now and where are we headed?” was held to discuss the challenges that the new global context poses to foreign trade and provide a space for dialogue. It was attended by officials and expert panelists from the public and private sectors and organized by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Office of the International Economic Relations Undersecretary (SUBREI) in conjunction with the Chilean Pacific Foundation and newspaper La Tercera on its seventieth anniversary.

On this occasion, Foreign Minister Allamand said, “Chile must move towards the future and this involves giving our trade policy a new stimulus by modernizing and upgrading it so it is in keeping with the times and continues to offer extensive benefits to everyone.”

“Our commitment is to ensure that the advantages of free trade benefit all Chileans by moving towards a trade policy that is inclusive, sustainable and part of the digital age. This challenge no doubt calls for women’s participation to be front and center,” the minister said.

Chile has been a pioneer in the inclusion of gender chapters in trade agreements signed with Uruguay, Canada, Argentina and Brazil. This year, Chile also entered into the first Global Trade and Gender Arrangement with Canada and New Zealand. The above opens new opportunities for international collaboration aimed at promoting gender equality and eliminating discrimination in the workplace.

Furthermore, Chile has opted for a new way of entering the digital economy, embodied in the chapters in trade agreements regarding e-commerce and telecommunication.

In this regard, International Economic Relations Undersecretary Rodrigo Yáñez said that signing the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) with New Zealand and Singapore constitutes a new benchmark on our path to building a digital economy, committed to the free flow of data, the non-discrimination of digital products and an ecosystem of trust.

“The digital transformation of our economies can be the driving force behind inclusive economic growth and economic reactivation,” Undersecretary Rodrigo Yáñez said.

He also referred to the importance of continuing to search for and open new markets where the focus is on e-services and e-commerce.

”In the first 10 months of 2020, Chilean exports shrank by 1.7% with respect to 2019. This projection was lower than the Central Bank of Chile had forecast at the onset of the pandemic and shows that foreign trade is a vital tool in driving the economic recovery, permitting us to counteract the effects of the health emergency and making our trade more resilient,” he said.

Also in attendance at the webinar were Central Bank of Chile President Mario Marcel, the Ambassador of Canada to Chile, Michael Gort, Federation of Chilean Industry (SOFOFA) advisor Rosario Navarro and company director, Claudia Bobadilla and Senior Vice President for Commercial and Corporate Affairs at forestry firm Arauco, Charles Kimber.