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China, Chile agree to initiate talks on FTA upgrade

Hits:  UpdateTime:2016-11-23 17:18:35

SANTIAGO - China and Chile agreed here Tuesday to

start negotiation on upgrading their Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The announcement was made during Chinese President Xi

Jinping's state visit to the Latin American nation.

According to a joint statement issued after Xi's meeting with his

Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet, the two heads of state

spoke highly of the results achieved over the past ten years

since their bilateral FTA went into effect.

The two countries signed their FTA in 2005. Bilateral trade

volume has grown fourfold since the FTA went into effect in

2006. China is now Chile's largest trading partner, its largest

export destination and the largest buyer of its copper products.

Currently, Chile is China's second largest source of wine

imports, with bottled wine exports to China up by 46 percent in

2015. The two countries have signed a number of quarantine

agreements on cherries, blueberries and avocados.

China has become an important market for Chilean cherries,

blueberries, apples, grapes and a variety of seafood such as

salmon. Chinese products with good quality and competitive

prices are also popular among Chilean consumers.

Chinese-made cars have taken up a considerable share of the

Chilean auto market.

Wu Baiyi, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences, said China and Chile enjoy huge potential for

cooperation in such areas as medicine, health services,

bio-technology and tourism, noting that these sectors are not

covered by the current FTA.

Chile wants more investment from China and hopes to have

broader access to the vast Chinese market, Wu said.

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