Delegation of the European Union to Chile

Chile and the EU

12/02/2021 - 00:00
EU relations with Country

Chile was the first country in Latin America to have a local EU representation back in 1967.

Political and economic relations between the European Union and Chile are framed by the 2002 Association Agreement. An ambitious update of the Association Agreement is under negotiation. The European Union has a multidimensional relationship with Chile through close cooperation with the Government, civil society, the private sector, universities and citizens.


The European Union and Chile are close partners who share the values of freedom, democracy, human rights, the promotion of multilateralism as well as free and rules-based trade.
Political dialogue meetings are held regularly at all levels in the framework of Association Committees and Association Councils. These allow evaluating the correct implementation of the Association Agreement in its three aspects (political, trade and cooperation pillars), the fulfilment of acquired commitments, as well as the active bilateral collaboration in areas of common interest.
There is also a regular dialogue between the parliamentarians of both parties through the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The EU-Chile Joint Consultative Committee was created between the EESC and Chilean civil society partners and organisations. It allows civil society organisations from both parts to address issues of common interest and to monitor the updating of the Association Agreement.


Economic relations between the EU and Chile have become stronger since the signing of the 2002 Association Agreement, which represented a milestone in their international economic relations, as it was one of the most extensive, detailed and modern bilateral agreements of its time.

The flow of investments from the EU into Chile almost doubled in the first 10 years of the implementation of the agreement. The EU is also the largest foreign direct investor in Chile. Total EU FDI flows in 2016 stood at €2.9 billion, and EU FDI stocks stood at €47.2 billion. Per capita, investments from the EU into Chile are higher than in Brazil, Mexico and China combined.

In addition, in September 2002 the EU and Chile signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, and in June 2005 the EU entered into a horizontal agreement with Chile concerning air transportation.

All of these agreements had positive knock-on effects in terms of innovation, technology transfer and competitiveness, among others.

The EU and Chile share a vision of the crucial role SMEs play for economic growth, job creation and innovation. Our trade reflects this: 40% of Chilean companies that export to the EU are SMEs (more than to other major trading partners).

Thanks to the Association Agreement, the EU maintains a special trade relation with Chile, which includes the liberalisation of trade in goods and services, legislation that regulates rights of establishment (investments) and mutual access to public procurements. In addition, other important issues of the trade part of the agreement include intellectual property, legislation concerning the technical obstacles to trade, as well as a chapter on customs cooperation and trade facilitation. Finally, very important are the agreements regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures and wines and alcoholic beverages.

Since the entry into force of the Agreement between Chile and the EU in February 2003, bilateral trade has doubled. The EU was the third largest trading partner of Chile in 2017, both for imports and exports (after China and the US).

Trade in goods

  • In 2017, the EU exported to Chile: €8.8 billion
  • In 2017, the EU imported from Chile: €8.3 billion

Exports from the EU to Chile mainly consist of industrial products such as machinery and transport equipment and other manufactured goods such as chemicals. The EU imports agriculture products such as fruit, copper and other metals and industrial products such as food, wine and cellulose from Chile.

Trade in services

  • In 2016, the EU exported to Chile: €3.7 billion
  • In 2016, the EU imported from Chile: €1.8 billion

Foreign direct investments (FDI)

  • FDI stock of the EU in Chile in 2016: €47.2 billion
  • FDI stock of Chile in the EU in 2016: €1.4 billion

The source for all of the aforementioned figures is EUROSTAT:


The EU and Chile have a shared interest in meeting a number of challenges both globally and regionally to ensure greater social cohesion, better opportunities and quality of life for their people and to improve integration in both regions. Chile is considered a ‘graduated’ country for the EU and a partner with a common commitment to attain the SDGs under Agenda 2030.

Potential fields of cooperation include security and defense, science and technology, research, innovation, energy, education, employment, corporate social responsibility, SMEs and their groupings, regional policy, climate change and sustainable development

Chile is starting to benefit from new cooperation instruments, such as as the Partnership Instrument (IP), established by the EU to focus on areas of strategic interest, in particular to share European expertise and to support policy dialogues.

It also benefits from the Regional Facility for International Cooperation, standing as provider and recipient in four international cooperation actions with other Latin American countries.

In the framework of the AA, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed   to build a more strategic cooperation and differentiated partnerships with and within the region. 

Chile continues implementing thematic and regional cooperation actions in the following fields:

1. The promotion of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance

In order to tackle  EU priorities and guidelines stated in the EIDHR as well as the EU Human Rights strategy in Chile, particular  emphasis will be  given to Economic, social and Cultural Rights and business  and inclusion and non- discrimination. Women and girls ´rights and gender equality will also be a priority, particularly with regard to a life free from violence and the strengthening of a culture free from gender  stereotypes. In addition, economic empowerment for women as well as political participation will also be covered.

2. Promotion of an inclusive and sustainable growth:

Social cohesion and good governance support at the regional level will be given via the EU programme Eurosocial. In the field of higher education for Chilean students, teachers and Institutions, Chile has taken good advantage from its participation in ERASMUS +. In terms of cooperation and drug prevention Chile participates in the EU regional program COPOLAD


Civil society organisations are key partners. They are embedded in the territories and are therefore better placed to understand their development needs.
The EU implements programs with civil society on issues such as human rights, gender equality and women's rights, climate change, economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous peoples, as well as citizen participation and social cohesion. In the context of the health crisis, the EU provides support amounting to one million euros to civil society organisations working to help the most vulnerable population. It also supports networks of civil society organisations to promote citizen participation in decision-making processes within the framework of the current constitutional process.


Chile is a partner in the region in the fight against climate change and benefits from, EUROCLIMA+, along with 17 other countries from Central and South America, with the objective of facilitating the design of strategies and policies for climate change adaptation and the reduction of emissions.

Complementing the work achieved by Euroclima and the launch of the EU-Chile Dialogue on Environment and Circular Economy, the EU will support 5 actions in distinct regions in Chile aimed at preventing and mitigating the effects of Climate Change (from 2017 to 2020) as well as the collaboration between mayors and their associations via the Partnership Instrument programme - the International urban Cooperation: sustainable and innovative cities and regions regional programmes.

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