EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is pushing to include a chapter on gender equality in a revamped version of the EU’s 2003 trade agreement with Chile, which is about to be negotiated soon. When speaking at a forum on the role of women in international commerce, she explained that “Chile already includes a chapter on gender in its agreements with Uruguay and Canada, which reinforces the coordination and supervision of women’s rights in trade” and therefore the EU could “see what we can learn from the Chilean experience” and added that “we can see if this could be a pilot project for us in the European Union that we could take to other trade agreements.”
European and Chilean negotiators met in January to agree on the objectives they want to achieve during the update process of the existing agreement. Both parties want to open new chapters including investment and political geography. Brussels and Santiago also seek to eliminate the few remaining tariffs on trade in goods that are still in place as well as address corruption and promote sustainable trade.
The EU is Chile’s third biggest trade partner and bilateral trade between the two has been increasing by 9% each year since the trade deal entered into force. The EU is Chile’s third import supplier, after China and the US, and is Chile’s second largest export market, after China. EU imports from Chile are dominated by crude materials (mainly copper), manufactured goods and food and live animal products. EU exports mostly machinery and transport followed by chemical products. The EU is Chile’s biggest foreign investor, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks and FDI flows in the country.