The aim is to update the 14-year-old EU-Chile Association Agreement to bring its political and cooperation ambitions and trade provisions into line with the EU's modern agreements. A second round will take place in early 2018.
High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini stated: "A modernised agreement with Chile will further strengthen our already excellent relations and open new areas of cooperation. It will provide us with a state of the art framework to continue championing global peace and security, free and open economies, inclusive societies and the promotion of global common goods."
Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström said: "Chile is our longest-standing trade partner in Latin America and a key ally for us. Our existing agreement has increased trade flows between us substantially in the past decade and a half. But in order to address today's full range of political and global challenges, we need a new, modern agreement in place, since the one from 2003 leaves out many important trade, services and investment issues. The talks that we are now launching aim to put in place a modern trade agreement of the highest calibre, covering all issues - including those that reflect shared values such as sustainable development, helping small and medium-sized companies, and efforts against corruption. And for the first time, a trade deal of ours will include common goals on the key role of women in trade".
This agreement would add to the recent successful agreements with Canada, Vietnam, Singapore as well as Japan among others, expanding the alliance of partners committed to multilateralism, rule of law and progressive rules for global trade.
Since the conclusion of the Association agreement with Chile the EU has developed a closer relationship on many areas. The modernisation of the agreement will allow to further deepen our relationship on global challenges, such as climate change agenda, and the 2030 sustainable development goals, economic and social cooperation in areas such as efficient use of energy, small and medium enterprises, youth, education and employment policies, and further our cooperation on gender and women empowerment.
The EU is Chile's second trade partner, comprising 14.9% of Chile's total trade in 2016. Bilateral trade has been stable over the last three years with the EU registering a trade surplus of €1.2bn in 2016. Meanwhile, the EU is Chile's biggest foreign investor, accounting for just under half of foreign direct investment flows into the country.
Since entry into force of the Association Agreement in 2003, EU exports to Chile have risen 170%, with imports rising by around a half. Meanwhile, EU exports and imports of services both went up by over a quarter between 2010 and 2015. In 2016, EU exports to Chile were mainly composed of machinery and transport, chemical products and manufactured goods, while exports from Chile to the EU were dominated by food and live animals, crude materials (mainly copper), and manufactured goods.