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Canada - Chile Relations

Trade and Investment Relations

The Canada-Chile commercial relationship is diverse and growing. The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) is the cornerstone of the bilateral trade and investment relationship. The agreement covers trade in goods and services, as well as investments, and includes side agreements on environment and labour relations. The CCFTA has been amended on several occasions since its implementation to add new provisions, including most recently the conclusion of a technical barriers to trade (TBT) chapter, announced by Minister Fast and Minister Muñoz at the APEC Ministerial meeting in Beijing on November 10, 2014. Canada and Chile also have bilateral agreements on taxation and air transportation.

Bilateral merchandise trade has more than quadrupled since the CCFTA came into force, growing to almost $2.86 billion in 2014 - Canada exported $1.13 billion in merchandise to Chile, consisting mainly of machinery, mineral ores, mineral fuels and oil, electrical and electronic machinery and equipment and fats and oils, while imports totalled nearly $1.72 billion. Major products imported included precious stones and metals (mostly gold and silver), fruits (mainly grapes), copper, fish and seafood (salmon), and beverages (wine). In 2014, Chile ranked 24th among Canadian export destinations, and was second only to Brazil in the region. A 10-year ban on Canadian beef and beef by-products was lifted in 2013.

At the end of 2013, the stock of Canadian direct investment in Chile stood at more than $16.6 billion, making Chile Canada's top investment destination in Latin America and 8th worldwide. Canada ranks as third largest source of foreign direct investment in Chile with Canadian investors present mainly in mining, utilities (water and energy), chemicals, infrastructure, and financial services.

Bilateral Relations                                                                 

In 2016, Canada and Chile will mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations are broad and multi-faceted, anchored in shared values, including a commitment to democracy and human rights, open markets and commerce, and multilateral cooperation to address global peace and security challenges.

The Canada-Chile Partnership Framework, signed in 2007 and supported by multiple agreements, has served as a roadmap for the expansion and deepening of collaboration between Canada and Chile in various priority sectors, such as sustainable development of minerals and metals, science and technology, investment promotion, youth mobility, education and exchanges.  The visit of then President Sebastián Piñera to Canada in May of 2013 provided an opportunity for the renewal of the Canada-Chile Strategic Partnership Framework, extending cooperation for sustainable development of natural resources, strengthening ties in the areas of education, innovation, agriculture and the environment, and consolidating the bilateral and multilateral partnership in the areas of governance, defense and security.

Canada and Chile are close partners in multilateral fora, including the United Nations, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of American States and within the Summit of the Americas process. The two countries also work together in support of regional trade integration in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, as well as in the Pacific Alliance where Canada is an observer.

Canada and Chile continue to expand their mutually fruitful bilateral defence collaboration, which has grown in scope and intensity in recent years, particularly since the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in April 2012. Canada and Chile share many common defence goals, including the desire to increase the coherence and effectiveness of the Inter-American Defence Board. Chile became a member of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) in June 1998, with approximately 350 Chilean students having received training to date. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel participate in exercises with the Chilean Joint Forces Command to develop humanitarian aid and disaster relief capabilities and our navies have been training together regularly since 2012, in the context of international exercises. Canadian naval personnel are being attached to Chilean navy ships on a rotational basis. Cooperation between our Air Forces is also substantial.

Both countries also seek to cooperate in addressing hemispheric defence and security issues, and to contribute to the enhancement of security in the hemisphere. To that end, Armed Forces from Canada and Chile have successfully initiated trilateral defence cooperation to support capacity-building in Central America. The two countries also announced in August 2013 a trilateral cooperation initiative to support police reform in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Close personal ties link Canadians and Chileans. Canada is currently among the top foreign study destinations for Chilean post-secondary students, supported by both Chilean and Canadian scholarship programs. Chilean and Canadian educational institutions have a number of agreements which support student mobility, faculty exchanges and joint curricula programs. The agreements include student and faculty exchanges as well as more general agreements in support of academic co-operation. Student exchange agreements enjoy the highest demand and cover the entire spectrum of disciplines. According to recent information provided by universities in Chile, nearly 900 Chilean and Canadian students have participated in a student exchange program since an agreement of this type was first signed in 1995. In 2013, Canada hosted over 520 Chilean students who spent an estimated $16.5 million in Canada thereby sustaining jobs for Canadians and contributing to Canada’s economy.

Canada is home to over 40,000 persons of Chilean origin. Approximately 42 300 Canadians tourists visited Chile in 2012. Canada’s visa requirement for Chilean citizens was lifted in November 2014.

Recent High Level Visits

There has been a regular exchange of ministerial visits and high-level contacts in recent years. Most recently, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Johnston made a State Visit to Chile in December 2014, with a focus on the education, innovation and trade sectors. The Chilean Minister of Mining, Aurora Williams attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in March 2015 accompanied by a large Chilean business delegation.  Luis Felipe Céspedes, Chilean Minister of the Economy, visited Canada on September 24, 2014 addressing the Canadian Council of the Americas in Toronto. 

April 2015

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