International business

Chile and India deepen relations and move towards freer trade

The country aims to be the first in South America to have a free trade agreement with the South Asian nation, a market of more than 1.2 billion people. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Category: Business
Photo courtesy of the Indian Ministry of Tourism Photo courtesy of the Indian Ministry of Tourism

India and Chile have agreed to sign a CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement), an arrangement equivalent to a free trade agreement. This new agreement will replace a partial agreement reached in 2007, and marks the deepening of trade and economic relations between the two countries.


The agreement will "include not only goods, but also services, investment and all control elements, such as tariff barriers," Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said on CNN Chile.


While in Delhi, Moreno said that the copper industry will benefit most from the agreement. Chile's main export to India is copper, and the product would reach India with zero tariffs.


Chile would become the first Latin American country to sign an agreement of this kind with India. Officials from both countries will now take the necessary actions to obtain authorization from their respective legislations.


"We have a strong interest in deepening our trade ties with Asia to further diversify our trade, creating a favorable environment for investment and trade, and expanding opportunities for cooperation in areas like information technology, oceanography, science and technology, agriculture and food processing and engineering and infrastructure, among others," Moreno said.


During the first half of 2012, Chilean exports to India expanded by 45 percent, reaching $US1.36 billion. The shipment of copper accounted for 91 percent of that total, an increase of 44 percent over the same time period. Meanwhile, exports of paper pulp increased 2 percent, totaling $US18 million.


Non-mining or paper pulp exports accounted for 7 percent of the total, an increase of 71 percent over the same period. Chemical exports reached $US67 million, an expansion of 174 percent, followed by fresh fruits, which reached $US19 million.


In turn, Chile's imports from India grew 29 percent in the first six months of 2012, totaling $US 310 million. Consumer goods accounted for 44 percent of all imports, totaling $US 137 million, an expansion of 25 percent. 

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