Chile and India to expand financial ties

In a landmark visit to Chile, Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid pledged to increase bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

With the goal of broadening trade agreements between India and Chile from a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), foreign ministers of both countries met in Santiago in February.

“The current trade agreement grants tariff preferences to a total 474 products and to expand it would mean it would cover around 2,852 products,” external affairs minister Alfredo Moreno said in a statement.

While the ambitious agreement would invigorate trade between the two nations, Moreno was clear that progress had already been achieved, citing a 40 percent trade increase between India and Chile from 2011 to 2012.

“For Chile, India is a country of tremendous importance, and one that we have had relations with for a long time,” Moreno said. “We have worked in multiple areas like for example the commercial sphere, where we have shown important growth.”

President Sebastían Piñera will visit India in the upcoming months to finalize the treaty.

In addition to wider trade agreements, India encouraged Chile to increase its foreign direct investment (FDI) in that country through the avenues of multi-brand retail, agriculture, agro and food processing the Financial Express reported.

According to the Financial Express, increased financial ties between India and Chile would be further supplemented by different kinds of cooperation. The Bilateral India Chile Scientific Forum would cover research topics from agriculture and astronomy to climate change and renewable energy.

In addition the India – Chile Think Tank Forum would unite bright minds from both sides of the ocean hoping to continually increase bilateral commitment between the two nations. While Chile is the first Latin American nation to attempt a think tank alliance with India, plans are underway to began a India-CELAC Think Tank that would incorporate nations from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Khurshid concluded February’s meeting with inspiring words for both nations.

“The largest democracy in the world – that is, India – comes together with the longest democracy in the world – that is, Chile.”