President Bachelet’s visit to augment VN-Chile partnership
11:52 | 07/11/2017

VGP - President of Chile Michelle Bachelet will pay a State visit to Viet Nam from November 8 to 9 at the invitation of her Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang, a trip expected to intensify the two countries’ partnership.

President of Chile Michelle Bachelet

Since diplomatic ties were set up on March 25, 1971, bilateral relations have developed in all aspects.

Visits at all levels have been held regularly, including the trips to Chile by then PM Phan Van Khai in October 2002 and then President Tran Duc Luong in November 2004, and an official trip to Viet Nam by then Chilean President Ricardo Lagos in October 2003. Presidents Tran Dai Quang and Michelle Bachelet also had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, in May 2017.

Bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been maintained and proved effective such as meetings of the bilateral Free Trade Council and political consultations at the deputy foreign ministerial level.

In November 2011, Viet Nam and Chile signed a free trade agreement (FTA) on the fringe of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Hawaii, the U.S.. This trade pact took effect on January 1, 2014.

The two countries held the first meeting of their Free Trade Council in Santiago de Chile in November 2014 and the second meeting in Ha Noi in July 2016.

Trade between the two APEC economies has been growing strongly, from US$170 million in 2005 to more than US$1 billion in 2016. It reached US$955 million in the first nine months of 2017. Viet Nam has exported about US$740 million worth of goods to Chile, mainly footwear, garments, wood furniture, cement, coffee and rice, while importing US$206 million worth of Chilean commodities, including aquatic products, vegetables, animal fat and vegetable oil, wood and wood products, steel, animal food material and wine.

Over the years, they have inked several cooperation documents such as an agreement on economic and trade cooperation, an agreement on investment promotion and protection, an agreement on science-technology cooperation, a visa exemption agreement, and the bilateral FTA. They also signed other cooperation deals on agriculture, mining, fisheries and tourism.

Viet Nam and Chile have coordinated well at international organisations and multilateral forums. The South American nation supported Viet Nam’s candidacy for non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2008-2009 and for a seat in the UN Economic and Social Council in October 1997. It recognised the Southeast Asian country’s market economy in 2007. Meanwhile, Viet Nam supported Chile’s candidacy for membership in the UN Human Rights Council for 2008-2010.

The upcoming State visit to Viet Nam by President Bachelet aims to strengthen the two countries’ friendship and all-round cooperation. During this trip, the two sides are set to work out measures to enhance their comprehensive partnership, particularly in economy, trade, investment, culture, science, technology and tourism, as well as in the fields of shared concern. - VNA

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