Remarks by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on EU-Chile Agreement
Buenas Tardes, Señoras y Señores,
First of all, I am delighted to welcome Minister Van Klaveren to Brussels.
It is a true pleasure to ink the latest landmark achievement between our two democracies: the modernised EU and Chile Advanced Framework Agreement and Interim Trade Agreement.
The EU and Chile have shared a privileged partnership for a long time.
We have a long history working as like-minded allies. For example, to uphold the multilateral trading system.
And we have fought for fair global rules for decades.
Today's signature formalises a commitment that takes this close bond to a whole new level. In many regards, it marks an even stronger partnership between old friends.
This matters greatly at a time of considerable geopolitical tension. Russia's war in Ukraine has refocused minds on the need to forge closer alliances with trusted allies.
Let me say for the record that the EU deeply appreciates Chile's strong and consistent support for Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the wider repercussions of Russia's war in Ukraine highlight the need to accelerate the energy transition, reinforce strategic supply chains and diversify sources of supply. Our modernised agreement will help us in all these respects.
But not only that.
The agreement also marks a real leap forward in terms of our sustainability commitments.
It very much reflects our shared strategic interests in terms of cooperating in areas like clean energy and raw materials, which will be vital for our future economic resilience.
It commits us to working together on the green transition, and on clean energies of the future. Notably, it enshrines both the Paris Climate targets and International Labour Organization standards in a strong chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development.
It is also an inclusive agreement, with strong participation foreseen for civil society.
And it features state of the art elements – from promoting sustainable food systems to support of gender equality via a dedicated Trade and Gender chapter.
Of course, the value of this modern, dynamic agreement goes much further.
It will also open up significant trade and investment potential for both sides. Companies – big and small – stand to gain. In that context, we have worked especially hard to ensure that smaller companies will reap its benefits, with easier trading rules.
Just on the EU side, we expect an increase of our exports to Chile by up to 4,5 billion euros over time thanks to the elimination of 99,9% of tariffs. Our agreement will provide new business opportunities and ensure a level playing field for EU goods on the Chilean market.
Let me conclude with the famous words of Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda:
‘Algunas amistades son eternas' – some friendships are eternal.
Today's world is very different to 20 years ago when our previous Association Agreement was signed.
So, I am proud that we succeeded in getting this next generation agreement over the line with one of our closest friends.
In doing so, we have unlocked a whole new level of opportunities for our citizens, our businesses, and our planet.