Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, welcomed President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, at the airport in Santiago and then accompanied him to a welcome ceremony at La Moneda Palace.
Minister Muñoz accompanied President Michelle Bachelet to a private meeting with the Chinese authority. The reunion addressed the main aspects of the bilateral relationship and later was opened for Ministers to participate.
During the visit, a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Chile was established. In 2012 both countries signed a Strategic Partnership. This new partnership will allow a major boost in the Plan of Action subscribed by both countries in 2015.
Some of the further advances that the partnership will provide are the deepening of the Free Trade Treaty (FTT); establishment of a Permanent Binational Commission; increase in investment; greater cooperation in environmental issues, such as ocean protection; China promoting tourism in Chile; and collaborative work in multilateral forums.
There was an announcement of deepening further the 10-year-old FTT between Chile and China. The extension of this agreement involves access to new markets, e-commerce deals, consumer protection, financial services, competition, and public buys, amongst others. Chile also reaffirmed its interest in negotiating on forest products, nitrates, paper, and carton.
"The Understanding Memorandum to deepen the free trade agreement between both countries presents the opportunity to include more products and to extend the agreement with China in other areas, such as government purchases" stated Minister Muñoz.
During the day, the authorities signed 11 agreements. One of these agreements is the Understanding Memorandum of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China which strengthens the Bilateral Strategic Partnership between Chile and China.
A new phase in Chile and China's economic relationship will begin, strengthening the work made on the Strategic Dialogue for Economic Coordination Matters Chile-China.
Both countries subscribed to an understanding document for E-commerce Cooperation. The objective of this document is to establish a cooperative and development mechanism on these matters.
Xi Jinping was invited to Chile by President Michelle Bachelet. He later toured Latin America visiting Ecuador and Peru.
The visit ended with the inauguration of China-Latin America Media Leaders Summit at ECLAC headquarters in Chile.
Numbers and background
China is our major trade partner. Chile is the third major partner of China in Latin America. Between 2010 and 2015, the trade between both countries increased annually 2,5%, reaching 3.944 million dollars in 2015.
In January-September of this year, the trade between Chile and China accumulated 22.349 million dollars. In the same period, Chilean exports to China were of 12.206 million dollars, rising 29% in fruit exports, 20% in agroforestry, livestock, and fish stocks, and 9,9% in industrial sector exports due to the increase of cellulose and processed food exports. Simultaneously, Chilean imports from China reached 10.140 million dollars in the same period.