Brazil, Chile expected to ink free-trade deal in November

The pact contributes to open-market policies in all of South America

Published in 23/10/2018 - 17:09 By Ana Cristina Campos - Brasília

Michel Arsalanian Neto, director of the Regional Economic Integration department of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, said today (Oct. 23) that a free-trade deal between Brazil and Chile, which could be signed next month, is the most comprehensive of its kind ever to have been negotiated by the country.

The talks were concluded Friday (19) in Santiago. Before it becomes effective, the agreement must be ratified by the Parliament in both countries. The pact may serve as parameter for future negotiations between Mercosur member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and Canada and the Pacific Alliance, for instance, the diplomat said. “Multiplying effects are expected to be seen in the region and beyond,” he added.

Entrevista do diretor do departamento de Integração Econômica Regional, do Ministério das Relações Exteriores, Michel Arslanian Neto, no Palácio Itamaraty
Michel Arslanian Neto – José Cruz / Agência Brasil

Seventeen topics are reported to be covered by the deal, among them services; e-commerce; telecommunications; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to commerce; facilitated trade; intellectual property; and micro, small, and medium businesses.

Treaties recently inked by the two countries are also expected to be incorporated into the document, like the protocol for public purchases and investment in financial institutions.

“The idea is to have a single instrument with all non-tariff norms governing Brazil–Chile relations,” Arslanian Neto said. “This deal comes as part of a very intense dynamic of commercial agreements in the region, which sped up recent times,” said.

Innovation

The diplomat mentioned the innovative aspects to be taken up by Brazil for the first time in a bilateral trade pact: e-commerce commitments, good regulatory practices, transparency in anti-corruption efforts, gender and environment, in addition to labor-related topics.

Both countries vowed to eliminate international roaming charges for mobile data and calls between the two countries.

Neto also argued that the countries hope to bolster trade and stimulate investment with greater legal security and a better business environment.

O ministro das Relações Exteriores do Chile, Roberto Ampuero e o ministro das Relações Exteriores Aloysio Nunes Ferreira durante assinatura de atos e declaração à imprensa, após a I Reunião do Diálogo Político-Militar Brasil-Chile.
Chile's Foreign Minister Ampuero (left) and
Brazil's Aloysio Nunes Ferreira – Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom / Agência Brasil

 

Chile is Brazil’s main commercial partner in South America. In 2017, bilateral trade exchange added up to $8.5 billion, up 22 percent from the previous year.

Brazil is Chile’s biggest trade partner in Latin America, and the country where most of Chile’s investment is headed—a total of $31 billion.

Tariff liberalization

Arslain Neto said that Latin America will have a potential free-trade area, with virtually all import tariffs between the nations in the region eliminated.

“The path towards this free-trade deal was the collection of deals that are not necessarily connected to each otherbut will lead to this [tariff] liberalization. These were deals between Mercosur and Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Guiana and Suriname are not included,” Neto said.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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