Economy

Chile approves free trade pact with Brazil, its top partner in Latin America

The agreement builds on rules facilitating commerce already in effect between Chile and Mercosur

Containers in Port of Valparaiso in Chile
Containers at the Port of Valparaiso, in Chile. Photo: Creative Commons
  • Chile shipped more than $3 billion worth of goods to Brazil in 2019, representing nearly 30% of its total exports to Latin America;
  • Chile, the world’s top copper producer, has long welcomed free and open trade, having signed 30 commercial agreements with 65 global markets.

Chile’s Senate approved late on Tuesday a free trade agreement with Brazil, cementing the Andean nation’s long-standing relationship with its top trade partner in Latin America.

The agreement, which builds on rules facilitating commerce already in effect between Chile and Mercosur bloc nations Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, is likely to boost thriving trade between the two nations.

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Chile shipped more than $3 billion worth of goods to Brazil in 2019, representing nearly 30% of its total exports to Latin America, Chile’s Foreign Ministry data shows.

“Today more than ever it is essential to strengthen our commercial alliances to give a boost to the economic recovery,” Chile’s foreign minister, Andrés Allamand, said following the agreement’s approval.

Both Chile and Brazil have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with dire economic prospects weighing on their futures.

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The agreement will help regulate and boost trade in several key areas, the ministry said. Chile supplies Brazil with such products as copper cathodes, salmon and wine, while Brazil ships to Chile meat, vehicle bodies and manufactured iron and steel products.

Chile, the world’s top copper producer, has long welcomed free and open trade. The country has signed 30 commercial agreements with 65 global markets, the Foreign Ministry said.