During his visit to South America, the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, where the two leaders discussed the on-going Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and the warm relationship between the two countries.
“New Zealand’s relationship with Chile is our broadest in Latin America and has been driven by increasing people-to-people links and investment in each other’s countries,” says Key.
“We also collaborate on international issues and, to that end, I thank President Piñera for Chile’s support for New Zealand’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
New Zealand and Chile were founding members of what has become the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. These negotiations have now grown to include 11 economies, representing US $21 trillion in GDP and around 600 million consumers.
“The TPP has strong momentum and it is the only agreement where negotiations span the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. President Piñera and I both underlined our commitment to concluding a high-quality, ambitious agreement by October.”
Key says there is ample scope for New Zealand businesses to increase their influence and build on their investment in Chile, particularly in agriculture and renewable energy.
“Chile is developing its geothermal energy programme, and New Zealand businesses have the expertise to help make ventures commercially viable. Both President Piñera and I are also committed to seeing an exchange of people, ideas and investment in the agriculture sector.”
Key says both leaders discussed continued collaboration in the Global Research Alliance, and in other environmental initiatives including the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, whale conservation and cooperation on Antarctic issues.
“Chile and New Zealand share common views across a range of areas, and President Piñera and I reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring the dynamic partnership our countries share moves from strength to strength.”
The Prime Minister is leading a trade delegation to Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil, and returns to New Zealand on March 15.
Since his comments, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and his Chilean counterpart Luis Mayol have signed a revised Agricultural Co-operation Forward Agenda between New Zealand and Chile.
“New Zealand and Chile have a strong relationship, underscored by their role in the formation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” says the Minister.
Since 2007, New Zealand has invested $630 million in Chile. “The significant agriculture investment in Chile provides commercial opportunities for New Zealand businesses, while enabling an exchange of New Zealand expertise in the sector.”
The Agenda, first signed in 2011, focuses on four key priority areas: Science and innovation; education and training; climate change and resource management; and trade and investment.
Key commitments include: exploring partnerships between New Zealand and Chilean research institutes to promote innovation in the respective agricultural sectors; collaborating to confront common challenges, such as combating PSA in kiwifruit; promoting trade, investment and exchanges in the pastoral sector; and strengthening collaboration in the context of the Global Research Alliance.
“New Zealand has a good story to tell in the area of agricultural productivity and innovation. Chile has big growth plans and our strategic partnership looks really exciting,” says Guy.