President Bachelet was accompanied by Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz on the occasion of the sixth consecutive Chile Day in London, on Friday May 13th. It was the last event attended by the Chilean authorities in the context of President Bachelet's State Visit to England.
Chile Day is an annual conference which is the result of a public-private collaboration backed by the Chilean Ministry of Finance and the British Embassy in Santiago. It seeks to strengthen the ties between representatives of Chilean markets and their global partners.
The event also included the participation of the Minister of Finance Rodrigo Valdés whose presentation was titled "Perspectives on Chilean Capital Markets". Later on, the Minister of Public Works Alberto Undurraga also contributed to the event with his presentation on "Opportunities and Infrastructure in Chile". The conference also featured Professor Cristobal Pissarides, Nobel Economics Prize year 2010 and the President of the Central Bank of Chile, Rodrigo Vergara.
On the occasion, the Minister of State for the Americas Hugo Swire highlighted the importance of the event as a major international showcase for Chile's financial market. He said that "our partnerships have gone from strength to strength. We are working together on science innovation through the Newton-Picarte Fund. Both countries are also supporting projects in renewable energy, green finance as well as sustainable mining, ocean issues, disaster prevention and environmental governance".
Before President Bachelet's presentation which took place in the afternoon, the event also featured themed meetings and round tables. During her speech, Chile's head of state highlighted the strength of Chile's democracy to face new challenges which is reaffirmed in an Official Report issued on the occasion of her official visit to the United Kingdom. President Bachelet stated that "our economy, open to international markets, has repeatedly demonstrated its strength and resilience, and holds a privileged position in Latin America".
The Official Report also covers the goals that have been accomplished by Chile during the last twenty years. In this regard, President Bachelet signaled that "we have reduced poverty level from 38 per cent to 8 per cent of the population, the GDP per capita, adjusted to purchasing power parity, has risen from US$5,800 to more than US$23,000, the highest in the region".
Heraldo Muñoz "For Chile, Europe is a strategic partner"
The Official Report also includes an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz who attended the conference alongside President Bachelet. In this context, Minister Muñoz highlighted the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that England sees Chile as a nation that "plays a leading role in Latin America, a serious country, cooperative and willing to have an open dialogue on all matters".
During the interview, which is part of the same Official Report, Minister Muñoz signaled that "Chile is a constructive and serious actor in the global scenario, particularly through multilateral initiatives. Chile will continue to promote and adhere to international norms and regimes that contribute to governance and international peace and stability in the world".
In terms of Chile's relations with Europe, Minister Muñoz said that "for Chile, Europe is a strategic partner. We share core values and principles such as democracy, individual freedoms and human rights". He also makes reference to the importance of Europe to Chile as a trading partner: "In the trade arena there is no doubt about the importance of the EU for us. The bloc is Chile's third largest trade partner after China and the United States. Also, the EU is our main investment partner, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of total investment over the past five years".