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Chile's trade increasingly a matter of good taste

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)

08:31, November 26, 2012

Food challenging copper as FTA serves up menu for success

Closer trade ties between China and Chile, following the signing of a landmark trade agreement, are seeing a surge of exports to China, a leading Chilean official said.

The growing exports, especially non-copper goods, are allowing the South American nation to diversify its expanding economy, said Alvaro Jana Linetzky, director general of international economic relations with the Chilean Foreign Ministry.

"China is Chile's major trade partner, and accounts for 20 percent of total exports," Linetzky said.

"This is mainly due to the Free Trade Agreement signed between the two countries."

The agreement was signed in November 2005 and it came into force in October 2006.

Under the FTA, the two countries are expected to make 97 percent of products duty free within 10 years.

According to the Chinese General Administration of Customs, trade with Chile surged by 21.1 percent from a year earlier to $31.46 billion in 2011, with China's imports reaching $20.64 billion, and exports hitting $10.82 billion.

"China-Chile economic and trade relations are stable with solid foundations," said Linetzky.

Chile is China's third-largest trade partner in South America.

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