European Union External Action

Chile and the EU

The excellent relationship between the European Union and Chile covers a wide range of contacts, coordination and dialogue in the areas of politics, trade and cooperation, which were strengthened by the bilateral Association Agreement signed in 2002.

Meetings concerning political dialogue at all levels are held regularly within the context of Association Committees and Association Councils. Up to now, political dialogue has been focused on employment. Bilateral dialogue also took place in 2009, 2011 and 2012 concerning human rights.

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 2015 stood at €2.3 billion, and EU FDI stocks stood at €42.8 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 trade part of the association agreement between Chile and the EU on 1 February 2003, bilateral trade has grown by 100 %. The EU was the third largest trading partner of Chile in 2016, its second largest destination for exports (after China) and the third largest origin of imports (after the United States and China).

Trade in goods

  • In 2016, the EU exported to Chile: €8.6 billion
  • In 2016, the EU imported from Chile: €7.4 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 agricultural products such as fruit, copper and other metals, and industrial products such as food, wine and cellulose from Chile.

Trade in services

  • In 2015, the EU exported to Chile: €3.8 billion
  • In 2015, the EU imported from Chile: €2.0 billion

Foreign direct investments (FDI)

  • FDI stock of the EU in Chile in 2015: €42.8 billion
  • FDI stock of Chile in the EU in 2015: €280 million

The source for all of the aforementioned figures is EUROSTAT:

For the European Union, cooperation (one of the fundamental pillars of the association agreement, together with trade and political dialogue) is a priority for its relationship with Chile, which is based on the principles of mutual interest and equal cooperation.

Chile is a strategic partner of the EU in Latin America, with which the EU shares fundamental values concerning freedom, democracy and the defence of human rights. The EU and Chile also have a shared interest in ensuring that there is greater social cohesion, with better opportunities and quality of life for their people, as well as a shared commitment to improve integration in their respective regions.

The European Union's cooperation with non-state actors is carried out in various ways that range from financial aid to having dialogue with different actors. Said dialogue with civil society develops either within the context of political dialogue between the EU and the Chilean government with the participation of non-state actors or within the context of the cooperation planning process.

The EU has several programmes within the context of the fight against climate change in Chile. The most important programmes are as follows:

Chile benefits (1) from the EU's regional cooperation programme, 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 reduction [implementation period 2010–2016]. Contribution of the EU: €16 450 000. (2) There is also the WATERCLIMA-LAC regional programme, the objective of which is to improve the management of river basins and coasts in the context of climate change.

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