Chile maintains very close ties with China, which were consolidated by the bilateral free trade agreement, which is celebrating the tenth anniversary in 2016 since it came into force, said Carlos Furche, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture. He added that bilateral trade has multiplied five times since the FTA was created.
The Chilean minister made these remarks in Mexico City where he is taking part in the 34th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization.
(SOUNDBITE, Spanish) Carlos Furche, Chilean Minister of Agriculture
“The Chinese market is the third largest destination for our food exports. Ten years ago, it was a marginal and irrelevant market. However, we hope it will now continue to bear fruit, so that in the next five to ten years, China can now become our first or second largest market for food exports.”
The FTA between Chile and China was negotiated rapidly and effectively before being signed in November 2005 by former Chinese President Hu Jintao and former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos. From the day it entered into force, on October 1, 2006, China has boosted its presence in the Chilean economy. It has been Chile’s main trading partner since 2010 and now accounts for 20 percent of all Chilean exports.