Canada - Chile Relations

Bilateral Relations

Canada and Chile celebrated 75 years of vibrant diplomatic relations last year. Bilateral relations are broad and multi-faceted, anchored in shared values, including a commitment to democracy, human rights and women empowerment, 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 State visit of President Michelle Bachelet to Canada in June of 2017 provided an opportunity to build on the Canada-Chile Strategic Partnership Framework by enhancing bilateral cooperation in the areas of diversity and social inclusion, with particular emphasis on women and indigenous people, economic growth, the environment, climate change and national parks, migration and refugee issues, as well as national emergencies and disaster relief.

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 in the context of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, as well as in the Pacific Alliance where Canada is an observer and signed the Canada-Pacific Alliance Joint Declaration on Partnership in June 2016.

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 393 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.

Canada and Chile enjoy strong bilateral relations and technical cooperation on environmental matters, facilitated by the Canada-Chile Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC). Under this Agreement, the Ministries of Environment have cooperated over twenty years to: build capacity in environmental management systems (enforcement, public participation, protected areas management); conserve and protect migratory birds (Canada and Chile share 41 species of migratory birds); conduct joint research (environmental effects monitoring; shared invasive species); and, exchange expertise in areas such as contaminated sites, environmental accounting, carbon markets, and indigenous consultation, among others.

Both countries also contribute to the enhancement of security in Central America. In September 2016, Canada and Chile undertook a trilateral cooperation initiative to support police reform in Guatemala and El Salvador. With Canada’s support, the Chilean investigation police shared its expertise and best practices with El Salvador and Guatemala.

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. Canada hosted 348 Chilean students for more than six months in 2015. Canada also has several education initiatives with Chile, including the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program and the Canada-Chile Leadership Exchange Scholarship Program. These programs have offered over 600 short-term scholarships to Chilean post-secondary students to study in Canada. Chilean and Canadian educational institutions have a number of agreements which support student mobility, faculty exchanges and joint curricula programs.

Canada is home to over 38,100 persons of Chilean origin. Approximately 27,200 Chileans tourists visited Canada in 2016, compared to 20,348 in 2014 - the year that Canada’s visa requirement for Chilean citizens was lifted (in November 2014). Over 79,400 Canadians tourists visited Chile in 2015.

Trade and Investment Relations

The Canada-Chile commercial relationship is diverse and growing. The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), the cornerstone of the bilateral trade and investment relationship, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017. 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. Recently concluded negotiations will add new chapters on trade and gender, technical barriers to trade, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures; make technical amendments to the existing government procurement chapter; and add progressive elements to the investment chapter. Canada and Chile also have bilateral agreements on taxation (signed in 1998) and air transportation (in force since 2005).

Bilateral merchandise trade has more than tripled since the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) came into force in 1997. It reached $2.41 billion in 2016, a decrease from its 2014 peak of $2.86 billion. A downturn in international commodities prices, including for oil and gas and precious metals, particularly copper, contributed to the decline. Canada exported nearly $725.5 million in merchandise to Chile in 2016, led by machinery, mineral fuels and oils, pharmaceutical products, cereals, and meat. Imports from Chile totaled nearly $1.7 billion led by precious stones and metals (mostly gold and silver), fruits, copper, beverages (wine), and fish and seafood (salmon). In 2016, Chile was the 28th largest source of Canadian merchandise imports, and 30th largest Canadian merchandise export destination. In 2015, Canada exported services valued at $225 million to Chile and imported $110 million in services from Chile.

At the end of 2016, the stock of Canadian direct investment in Chile stood at $16.5 billion, making Chile Canada's top investment destination in South and Central America and 11th worldwide. Canada has been the largest source of new foreign direct investment in Chile over the last decade with Canadian companies present in mining (27 companies with significant assets in excess of $50,000), utilities (electricity, gas, and water), chemicals, transportation and storage services and financial services.  At the end of 2016, the stock of Chilean direct investment in Canada was $767 million.

Recent High Level Visits

There have been regular high-level visits in recent years. Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile, conducted a State Visit to Canada on June 4 to 6, 2017. Prior to that, Governor General David Johnston made a State Visit to Chile in December 2014, former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera visited Canada in May 2013 and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Chile in April 2012.

At the ministerial level, the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, travelled to Ottawa and Toronto in April 2016, while the Chilean Minister of Mining, Aurora Williams, has attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention for three years in a row, most recently in March 2017. The then Chilean Minister of National Property, Victor Osorio, led a delegation to Canada in June 2015, and Luis Felipe Céspedes, Chilean Minister of Economy, visited Canada in September 2014 and in November 2016 to address the Canadian Council of the Americas in Toronto. Conversely, Canadian Ministers of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos and of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne both visited Chile in April and March 2017, respectively.

June 2017


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