By Mohsin Abbas/The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO — Canada’s Minister of International Trade will visit Chile this week to promote international trade and investment between the two countries.
During his visit to Chile, from March 13 to 15, François-Philippe Champagne will meet with government and business leaders – including Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz – to discuss the benefits of progressive trade, as well as to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and Chile.
Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Chile has more than tripled since the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement entered into force in 1997, reaching $ 2.4 billion in 2016.
The value of Canada’s direct investment in Chile amounted to more than $ 15 billion Canadian dollars by the end of 2015, making Chile the main destination for Canadian investment in South and Central America, and the tenth level global.
After Chile, the Canadian minister will visit Mexico from March 16 and 17.
During his two-day visit, Minister Champagne will highlight the close and growing collaboration between Canada and Chile in the sectors of trade, investment, defense, energy, mining, education, as well as science, technology, and innovation.
On March 15, Minister Champagne will represent Canada at a high-level dialogue on Integration Initiatives in Asia-Pacific organized in Viña del Mar by the Government of Chile – currently chaired by the Pacific Alliance.
The Pacific Alliance member countries and signatories of the Trans-Pacific Agreement (TPP) are also invited to the dialogue.
Also invited are representatives of South Korea and China, who play important roles in international trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative created in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru that seeks the free circulation of goods, services, capital and people. In 2012, Canada became the first non-Latin American observer country of the Alliance.