Dow Jones | 15 Nov 2010
Chile signs free-trade agreement with Malaysia, starts talks with Thailand
By Anthony Esposito, Dow Jones Newswires
SANTIAGO -(Dow Jones)- During a gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, Chile inked a free-trade agreement with Malaysia, the first signed under the administration of President Sebastian Pinera, and started talks with Thailand for a similar agreement.
The Andean nation currently has various types of free-trade agreements, also known as FTAs, with 58 countries, including the U.S., China and the European Union, representing 60% of the global population.
"[This] is a historic day because we’re signing our first free-trade agreement with a member-country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and also its the first free-trade agreement of our government," Pinera said.
Asean members include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, all of which are APEC members, along with non-APEC nations Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Regarding a start of negotiations with Thailand, both governments said in a joint statement, "The two heads of government agreed that Chile and Thailand are important trade partners and noted that the bilateral free-trade agreement has potential to increase the bilateral trade and investment that could link Asean and Latin American countries."
Chile is one of the world’s leading exporters of natural resources such as copper, wood pulp, fishmeal, nitrates, iodine, molybdenum and lithium.