Chile prepares pitch for free trade with GCC

Published November 12th, 2009 - 10:07 GMT

Chile, billed among the most stable and promising economies in Latin America, has announced its intention to open new fronts for increased engagement with the Gulf region, following the success of the first ‘Chilean Week’, which concluded in Dubai recently.

Held as part of the opening of the Embassy of the Republic of Chile in Abu Dhabi, the Chilean Week went a long way in creating a positive first impression of Chile among investors, entrepreneurs as well as the public in the UAE and in opening new channels for mutually beneficial interaction, the organisers said.

“The Chilean Week demonstrated that there is a repository of expertise, technologies, skills and opportunities in Chile, which the UAE and the Gulf region can utilise by way of investments, partnerships or imports,” said Jean Paul Tarud, Chilean Ambassador to the UAE.

Carlos Salas, Trade Commissioner of Chile in the UAE, added: “We are delighted by the level of interest in Chile we saw during the Chilean Week. We will now focus on sustaining and building on this interest. Chile will have a major presence for the first time at the Big 5 exhibition taking place in Dubai in November 2009, following which we will also attend the Gulfood – for the third time in a row - in February 2010.”

Senior government officials, industry champions, culinary experts and cultural ambassadors from Chile attended the Chilean Week, displaying the varied attractions and strengths of the Latin American country in a number of exhibitions, B2B meetings and trade seminars.
Announcing their resolve to enhance bilateral trade relations and expedite access to each other’s markets, Chile’s Directorate of Export Promotion (ProChile) and the Dubai Export Development Corporation also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the Chilean Week.

Chile, which has over 20 trade agreements with 56 countries in the world, has already submitted a proposal for a similar arrangement with the GCC.

Bilateral trade between Chile and the UAE crossed US$113 million in 2008, from US$ 81 million in 2005. Exports from Chile contributed over US$107 million to bilateral trade in 2008 while imports grew by over 200%, compared to the previous year. Currently, UAE is ranked 54th as a trading partner of Chile and 44th as a destination for Chilean exports.

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