Joint Statement following the fourth annual UK-Chile Dialogue held on 13 September 2023.
Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security and Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, Claudia Sanhueza Riveros, met in London on 13th September 2023 for the 4th Anglo-Chile Trade Dialogue and the 2nd Ministerial level Association Council, under the UK-Chile Association Agreement.
Ministers welcomed the long and fruitful trade relationship between Chile and the UK based on shared values of democracy, openness and free and fair trade. They celebrated the UK’s accession to CPTPP, of which Chile was a founding member, highlighting the new opportunities for strengthening the relationship in a new and challenging global trade environment. They also agreed the importance of ratifying the UK’s accession quickly.
Ministers welcomed the success of the annual Chile Day in London, highlighting the importance of financial services for both the UK and Chile, and looked forward to seeing a further boost to trade and investment from it.
Ministers met under the umbrella of the UK-Chile Association Council and congratulated officials for their ongoing work on the modernisation of the bilateral trade relationship. They agreed that the first-in-class provisions in the CPTPP heralded a new era of cooperation and increased potential for trade in goods, in digital technologies and in financial services. They also agreed to develop the fruitful links between the bilateral Association Agreement and the new common framework given by CPTPP.
They agreed to continue this modernisation work with a focus on services, subject to an upcoming technical review with initial discussions to agree the process due in 2024; in trade and gender equality, where both countries are aligned in the need to ensure women, including women led business, can access the benefits of free trade; and in energy and those resources needed to help the transition to cleaner, greener economies that protect economic growth and the climate.
Ministers used the dialogue to exchange information on strategies around critical minerals. They agreed on the need to work together to identify how governments can best manage critical minerals such as lithium in an environmentally and socially conscious way, creating new value chains that encourage investment. They tasked officials to meet before the end of 2023 to agree a programme of work and to assess progress by July 2024.
Ministers discussed the importance of improving opportunities for women in trade. Chile highlighted their feminist foreign policy and the centrality of women in their trade policy approach. Both ministers welcomed officials’ commitment to a meeting later in the Autumn to explore ways of further collaborating on this issue.
Ministers agreed the importance of identifying and addressing any barriers to trade and encouraging businesses, particularly SMEs to make full use of our trade agreements. Ministers agreed that it was important to listen to business needs and to facilitate open and investment-friendly business environments. They also agreed the deep responsibility for ministers to ensure the benefits of free trade support the prosperity and aspirations of all communities and citizens.
Ministers discussed multi-lateral trade issues, with a view towards MC13 next year. As longstanding allies within the WTO, both agreed on the need to take an action-orientated approach to reform and to engage constructively in discussions on Members’ ability to implement rules of trade. The world needed clarity about rules of trade and the ability to implement them. Both ministers agreed to continue discussions on ways of improving the functionality of the WTO to ensure inclusivity and transparency.
Finally, Ministers tasked officials to monitor work across these areas, in particular reviewing progress in trade and gender equality, services, and critical minerals at the next Association Committee in July 2024 with a view to updating Ministers at the next Trade Dialogue.