Since 1990, Chile has consolidated its position as an attractive international parter by building an extensive network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These include FTAs with Canada an Mexico, and, since early 2003, with the European Union. In 2002, Chile also successfully negotiated FTAs with the United States and South Korea, while in March 2003, it concluded negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), formed by Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Moving forward, our country finished talks with New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, signing the P4. In adition Chile has recently established a TLC with China.
In addition to these FTAs, Chile also has trade agreements with most South American countries, including its associate membership of the MERCOSUR bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and bilateral treaties with Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In addition, it has trade agreements with the Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) and, as of early 2003, was holding talks with Bolivia with a view to expanding an existing Economic Complementatiom Agreement into a Free Trade Agreement.
The negotiation an implementation of these agreements have gone ahead in the conviction that greater openness to trade and regional integration are effective tools for achieving higher levels of development. In practice, these treaties have sustantially expanded the size of Chile’s market from its 15 million habitants to, as of mid-2003, almost 900 million customers around the world.
This approach has also encouraged domestic producers and exporters to expand into new markets. The number of products exported by Chile increased from around 200 in 1975 to 3,747 in 2001. Similarly, Chile now exports to 185 different countries, up from just 50 in 1975