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Chile, Japan to sign FTA next March: FM

Xinhua | December 19, 2006

Chile, Japan to sign FTA next March: FM

Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley Rioseco said in Santiago on Monday that Chile and Japan would sign a free trade agreement (FTA) in March 2007, following the conclusion of bilateral negotiations on the issue last month.

Foxley said he would initial the accord on the FTA with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso next March and then the document would be submitted to each country’s parliament for ratification.

He added that Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was expected to sign the accord with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Chile has signed FTAs with more than 40 countries and Japan is now the only one among the world’s major economies that has no free trade with Chile, although the Asian country is Chile’s second largest export market after the United States.

Statistics from the Chilean Central Bank showed that in 2005, Chile’s exports to Japan was valued at 4.536 billion U.S. dollars, and the imports reached 941 million billion dollars.

 source: People’s Daily