The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, led the presentation of the book "Study of the Impact of Chile's Free Trade Agreements" by the Directorate General of International Economic Relations (Direcon), which was held in the O'Higgins room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ceremony was attended by Undersecretary Carolina Valdivia; the Director of Direcon, Rodrigo Yañez; the Director of ProChile, Jorge O´Ryan, among other authorities.
The study published by Direcon is the first effort to comprehensively measure the impact and use of the important network of Free Trade Agreements that Chile has signed in the last three decades.
Thus, it takes into account the different stages of Chile's trade negotiations, from the unilateral opening to the recent participation in the most dynamic integration blocks of the 21st century, such as the Pacific Alliance and the Integral and Progressive Trans-Pacific Association Treaty, reviewing the important network of 26 Free Trade Agreements built over the last three decades, which have opened the borders of 64 economies in the world.
During his speech, Chancellor Ampuero highlighted the importance of developing economic openness, which has become the most important component of his growth and development strategy in recent decades.
"The commercial opening has contributed to overcome the limitation of the distances with the main centers of consumption of the northern hemisphere and has reduced the costs of transport, and also we have achieved a substantial advance in terms of tax deductible of the imports of our products in the countries of destination that receive our exportable offer", he assured.
Along with this, the Chancellor added: "All these elements contribute to our having been able to insert ourselves well into the world and that we continue to do so and that we continue to have a very vital economy, at the same time sensitive to international ups and downs".
Regarding the 26 FTAs signed by our country, the Minister highlighted that they are "the pillar of extensive bilateral and multilateral relations, which has allowed us to create economic prosperity and has given us access, under preferential conditions, to 63.2% of the world's population. In other words, Chilean goods and services have a potential market of 4.676 million people, including the most populous and booming nations of our era: the United States, China, India, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and, of course, our region.
Thus, the Minister assured that the FTAs "have expanded the opportunities for the country's exports, considerably improving the competitive position of companies, whether direct or indirect exporters. In 2017, the 8.167 Chilean exporters together generated a total of almost 1.2 million jobs, that is, the activity directly impacts at least 13% of the country's labor force.
In this sense, the Minister highlighted that the development we have achieved thanks to this opening responds to "our State foreign policy where the broadest sectors of our country converge and coincide". And he added: "That is what gives strength, consistency, permanence and also security to Chilean foreign policy. This has been maintained throughout diverse governments and in this sense it is necessary to make a great recognition to this line that is maintained and that the fact that this line is maintained is what gives us a situation that we must know how to take advantage of, of which we feel proud, and that we must reinforce".