International commerce

Economic agreement boosts trade between Chile and Japan

Business between the South American and Asian nations has grown steadily since 2006 when the landmark agreement came into effect.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 Category: Business
Copper was Chile's biggest export to Japan. (Photo: ahisget/Flickr) Copper was Chile's biggest export to Japan. (Photo: ahisget/Flickr)

Chile's economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Japan has led to an eight percent annual increase in foreign trade between the two countries since it was initiated in 2006

A report issued by the Chile's Department of International Economic Relations (Direcon) states that trade between both nations over the past 12 months exceeded US$10 billion for the first time ever.

According to the government report, Japan was Chile's third largest trading partner in 2010 behind China and the US, accounting for an 8.4 percent share of the South American nation's international business.

Last year exports from Chile to Japan were worth more than US$7.5 billion, up more than four percent on 2009.

The report also highlighted the benefits of the 2006 agreement for Chilean companies, revealing that almost 80 percent of the country's exports to the Asian nation in 2010 were exempted from tariffs.

“The increase in shipments was mainly due to copper exports, which have grown by an average of six percent each year since 2006, accounting for 66 percent of all exports to Japan in 2010, with a value of US$5 billion,” stated the report.

Non-copper exports also increased at an average rate of five percent between 2006 and 2010, thanks to strong Japanese demand for trout, salmon and processed foods.

Salmon and trout exports to Japan have increased by an average of seven percent each year since 2006, making up 12 percent of Japanese imports from Chile. Other major products exported from Chile included raw timber and wooden furniture which had a combined worth of US$372 million in 2010.

The bilateral economic agreement has boosted Japanese exports as well. In 2010 the total value of Japanese goods arriving in Chile more than doubled to US$ 3.4 billion, accounting for 5.7 percent of the country's overall imports.

The most common type of products imported from Japan were intermediate goods which were worth US$1.3 billion in 2010. Consumer goods were next on the list, with a total value of US$866 million and they were followed by capital goods which were worth US$731 million.

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