Chile, an open economy

With more than 20 free trade agreements, the Chilean economy is one of the most liberalized in the world.

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Chile, a country that is geographically distant from major political and economic centers, consistently expands its international presence.  Presently, it is the nation that has signed the most trade agreements in the world.  There are currently more than 20 of such agreements, signed with 56 other countries or blocs including the US, EU, Japan and China.  These agreements are the products of a process that began three decades ago to open the country to trade with all continents.  This process has transformed Chile into one of the most advanced and attractive trading partners.

30 years of development

Chile is a country that is clearly in tune with the international markets.  Today, exports represent almost 45% of GDP.  This means that, in a 12 month period, almost half of Chile’s production is sold abroad.

This open approach to global trade has been developing for more than 30 years.  In the early stages, the process developed in the framework of unilateral or existing multilateral relationships.  With the return of democracy in 1990, the new government adopted strategies that emphasized such relationships with other countries under the premise that such agreement are crucial components to generating economic growth, employment, wealth, and social development.

Since then, expansion of such policies has been included in specific agreements like Partial Reach, ACE, economic association, and Free Trade Agreements. Under these policies, Chile has opened its domestic market to a wide range of foreign products.  Even though the import fee for such products is officially 6%, it averages only 1%.  In fact, some items enter for free under certain international agreements.

Reciprocally, Chile has obtained preferential access to goods, services, and capital in major global markets.

Also, this success has allowed Chile to enjoy favorable treatment in political and jurisdictional international regulations.  This treatment extends to other fields that are not strictly commercial like environment, sanitation, intellectual property and safety.

This post is also available in Spanish