Reuters | 27 October 2014
Bachelet and Merkel push for "upgrade" to EU-Chile trade pact
BERLIN, Oct 27 (Reuters) — Chilean President Michelle Bachelet got encouragement from Germany’s Angela Merkel on Monday for her push to update Chile’s free-trade pact with the European Union and improve conditions for foreign investment.
"For some time Chile has been negotiating an ’upgrade’, so to speak - an ’agreement 2.0’ or a new deal with the EU after 11 years of this association treaty, which has been extremely successful for both Europe and Chile," Bachelet said in Berlin.
"We have an agreement on investment protection but we want furthermore to improve everything regarding foreign investment," Bachelet said.
The EU’s experience is that "our exports grow and jobs are created everywhere that we have free-trade deals," Merkel said. "... We should give the country which was among the first to make an agreement with Europe in 2005 the updates that are necessary."
With Germany celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bachelet was asked for her view of the former communist East Germany, where she and other victims of General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship were given refuge in the 1970s.
The centre-left Chilean leader declined to criticise the former German Democratic Republic, saying people like herself who had been "close to losing their lives" had nothing but gratitude for the former East and West Germany alike.
"Many Chileans were in the Federal Republic of Germany and others of us were in the German Democratic Republic, and I would say that what we Chileans who were on one side or the other have to say is thank you," said the twice-elected Chilean president. (Reporting by Stephen Brown; Editing by Larry King; Editing by Michael Nienaber)