Chile's request to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) was accepted by the foreign ministers of the 10 member states on July 24, 2016 at the 49th Foreign Ministers´ Meeting in Vientiane, Lao People´s Democratic Republic.
The acceptance constitutes a historical milestone in the relationship between our nation and the Asia Pacific, a culmination of decades of rapprochement with each one of the member States of the ASEAN, as well as with the Association as a whole. Chile will thus become one of the only two countries in Latin America associated with ASEAN, with Brazil being the other having joined in 2012. This latest advancement is connected to our participation in APEC and will strengthen our network of trade agreements and South-South cooperation with the region, opening new spaces for constructive dialogue with the ten nations of Southeast Asia.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. This conglomerate of emerging economies, with a combined population of 625 million inhabitants, plays an important strategic role in the Asia Pacific region and has great potential for cooperation and business for Chile. Together they comprise the world´s seventh largest GDP.
Chile is grateful for ASEAN's decision, which we know will initiate a new phase of cooperation, exchange and the sharing of knowledge for the benefit of our respective regions of Southeast Asia and Latin America.