Chile wants to expand India trade ties, says Rodrigo Yanez, country’s vice-minister of trade

Chile, India’s sixth largest trade partner in the Latin American region, wants to expand relations with India. It is exploring avenues to increase knowledge sharing between the countries about each other’s production structures as well as to identify value chains. As Chile and India celebrate 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations, its vice minister of trade, Rodrigo Yanez, who is on a visit to India, said in an interview with FE’s Rishi Ranjan Kala that his country is interested in transforming the preferential trade agreement (PTA) into a more comprehensive accord. Excerpts:

 

This year (2019), Chile and India are celebrating 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations, and I believe that our countries are currently under a unique position to further our bilateral economic relations. I would also like to highlight the outstanding economic relationship between our countries, primarily achieved through the PTA, which came into force in August 2007 and the positive effects generated by the expansion of the PTA in May 2017, which has substantially increased our bilateral trade.

 

So, in the context of room for expansion of PTA, the opportunities are enormous. Around 70% of our tariff lines are yet to be opened for India and 90% of Indian tariff lines are yet to be opened for Chile. What we have seen after the last expansion of the PTA is that regardless of how limited it was, it has boosted our trade with India. So, I think we have proof that PTA has been successful and as we have agreed with India to substantially increase the number of tariff lines so that trade is more comprehensive.

 

What items do you think can help expand trading relations between the countries?

We have our wine. Also, there is a whole industry of health foods in Chile that we believe has a lot of potential in India given the change in consumption patterns and a growing middle class who Chile can serve. For instance, oats can be a good product to expand trade. We can also provide raw materials for making food products and also items like avocado and fish (salmon). Besides, something discussed by our President Sebastian Pinera and Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is to look at growth in services and investments (this will be dealt independently). Pharmaceuticals, especially high quality generic pharma (we have inked an MoU in this direction) and Chile is a big consumer of Pharma products.