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Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement

Overview

On 27 May 2008, the Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, and the Chilean Foreign Minister, Alejandro Foxley, concluded the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. On 30 July 2008, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith and Mr Foxley signed the Agreement. The FTA text was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 17 June 2008.

Delay in entry into force

The FTA will not enter into force on 1 January 2009 (as initially had been planned). Australia will complete its domestic ratification processes on 12 December 2008. However, Chile will unfortunately not be able to complete its domestic ratification processes in time for the FTA to enter into force on 1 January 2009, despite strong encouragement from the Australian Government. The Australian Government understands that Chile now hopes to complete its processes to enable the FTA’s entry into force in the first quarter of 2009.

Background

On 8 December 2006, the Australian Government agreed in-principle to commence a bilateral negotiation process with Chile, with a view to developing a comprehensive FTA to strengthen and deepen the trade relationship. In the first half of 2007, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade conducted a series of consultations with Australian industry, state and territory governments and other interested stakeholders to assess barriers to trade with Chile that could be addressed by a free trade agreement. Australian officials also met with Chilean officials to determine the scope for achieving a comprehensive, fully liberalising FTA.

On 18 July 2007 Australia agreed to enter into FTA negotiations with Chile. Four negotiating rounds were held between August 2007 and April 2008 along with two intersessional meetings in March 2008 to progress the negotiations in particular areas. Negotiations were concluded by Ministers on 27 May 2008.

Agreement Summary

Full text of the Agreement

Further Information

Contact:

Director, Canada and Latin America Section
Americas Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Tel: (02) 6261 3904

Other resources

Doing Business in Chile

For more information on doing business in Chile and about specific export opportunities, go to the Austrade website. As well as country-specific information, the Austrade website also has a database that can be searched by industry.