New Delhi, October 25 (EFE).- Chile is seeking to unlock a free trade agreement with India after years of negotiations thanks to the official visit of the undersecretary for international economic relations, Claudia Sanhueza, the highest profile since 2019.
“Our idea is to start moving forward in a series of talks that could lead us to a new agreement,” Sanhueza, a representative of a country seen as India’s main gateway to Latin America, told EFE on Wednesday.
The undersecretary has been in New Delhi since last Monday, accompanied by a team of Chilean trade advisers, to meet with Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and express Chile’s interest in improving trade ties.
Chile has been courting the Asian country for years to reach a free trade agreement, with neither country currently indicating a specific date on the horizon, and Sanhueza emphasized the dilemma “between doing it quickly and not so compressively and doing it a little slower, but go a little further.
The Undersecretary for International Economic Relations acknowledged the difficulty of entering the Indian market due to its increasingly widespread “Made in India” policy, which saw a 40% reduction in Chilean exports to India in the past five years.
Still, Gabriel Boric’s government is confident that its negotiating capacity, as well as the Asian country’s interest in Latin America, will open the door to a deal.
“We have many things in common with India and also many complementarities, so we believe we can move forward. In addition, India has shown a very special interest in Latin America in general, and Chile has acted as a gateway to Latin America for other major economies .” , Sanhueza declared.
India and Chile sealed the Partial Scope Agreement (PAA), which entered into force in August 2007, and after five years of negotiations, the extension of the partial agreement was signed in 2016, a milestone that has enabled Chile to position itself as India’s first trading partner in Latin America.
Sanhueza specified that about 58% of Chilean exports go to Asia, a sign of the interest the Andean country has shown in consolidating its commercial relations with the main Asian economic powers.
Chilean exports to India mainly include copper ores and their concentrates as well as iodine, while imports mainly respond to the arrival of cars, wind energy and medicine. EFE