Chile and Macau set to ink new free trade agreement

Deal with Chinese administrative region to follow existing agreement with Hong Kong.

Following a successful Macau and Chile Business Opportunities Seminar last month, the stage is set for Macau to penetrate the Latin American market using Chile as its platform.

Echo Chan, Acting President of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), highlighted the benefits to both nations of opening up trade and promoting business ventures between the two regions.

“Macau can serve as a gateway for Chilean enterprises to tap into the mainland market . . . IPIM will continue to enhance Macau’s role as an efficient trade platform,” Chan said to the Macau Daily Times.

Having already eliminated tariffs through a free trade agreement with Hong Kong, such a deal with Macau would further enable trade between Chile and China. The Asian nation, already Chile’s number one trading partner, is looking to take advantage of Chile’s free economy and geographical positioning.

“Call us, talk to us, look for us. We’ve made a lot of noise in Hong Kong, and we want to make a lot more with you in Macau,” Mario Artaza, Consulate General of Chile in Hong Kong and Macau, said during in the seminar. “We feel the need to jumpstart our trade relations with the MSRA (Macau Society of Registered Auditors). We’re here because we want to put a battery into this relation and energize it to get it flying and going.”

“If Macau wants to be a global player in the world scene, Chile can be the gateway into the Latin American region,” Artaza concluded.

Artaza also pointed out the importance of Chile opening up routes with Macau’s airport, which has a more open and free air travel market than Hong Kong.

Bilateral trade between Macau and Chile was US$ 5.3 million last year. Chilean exports to Hong Kong rose to US$181 million in the first semester of 2012, with Chilean imports totaling US$58 million.