Wall Street Journal | 27 July 2010
Chile moves toward free trade agreement with Persian Gulf
By Erin McCarthy, Dow Jones Newswires
SANTIAGO (Dow Jones)—Chile took another step toward developing a free trade agreement with Arab nations of the Persian Gulf, as the Chilean president and Kuwait’s prime minister signed several diplomatic and economic agreements Tuesday.
Although Chile currently has various types of free trade agreements with 58 countries, representing 60% of the global population, it has yet to develop free trade agreements with the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Chile currently has free trade agreements, or FTAs, with Canada, the U.S., the European Union, China, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Peru, among others.
The nations that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, include some of the world’s top oil producers, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Only 2% of Chile’s oil consumption comes from domestic production.
During the visit, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said he hoped Kuwait would utilize its position as current term chair of the GCC to further Chile’s interest in a free trade agreement with the GCC nations, which would "deepen ties of a political, economic, social and cultural nature."
In addition, Pinera and Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah signed several diplomatic and economic agreements during the visit, including an agreement to promote the expansion of airline services between the two countries.
Sheikh Nasser emphasized future economic collaboration between the two nations, especially in terms of bringing Kuwait’s private sector to Chile.
"We want our private sector to be everywhere in Chile," he added.