Economies feeling benefits of FTA
Updated: 2012-06-27 10:58
By Bao Chang (China Daily)
Sino-Chilean trade is expected to hit $35 billion this year, boosted by China's increasing imports and a comprehensive free trade agreement between the two countries.
In 2011, bilateral trade exceeded $29 billion, up 17 percent year-on-year and accounting for one-fifth of Chile's total foreign trade volume.
"Thanks to a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, bilateral trade has been increasing quickly in recent years," said Shao Yingjun, Chinese commercial counselor to Chile, adding that Chile has become China's second-largest trading partner in Latin America.
Wang Shouwen, director of the Commerce Ministry's Department of Foreign Trade, said China will strive to increase imports from countries that have signed trade agreements with it.
In 2005, China and Chile signed an FTA, enabling more than 6,000 kinds of Chinese export goods to enjoy zero tariffs.
In 2008, the preferential exports value from China to Chile reached $8.4 billion, accounting for 90 percent of China's total exports to the country.
Chile was the first South American country to set up diplomatic ties with China, and the first Latin American country to reach a bilateral accord with China on China's entry into the WTO, to recognize China's full market economy status and to sign an FTA with China.
"The two countries have realized common development and mutual benefit under a comprehensive FTA," Shao said.
China's exports to Chile range from mechanical equipment, telecommunication and home appliances to costumes, toys, shoes and transportation equipment. China mainly imports copper, paper, wood and fish from Chile.
In recent years, imports of red wine, seaweed and fruit from Chile have also been increasing rapidly.
Xinhua contributed to this story.