Key Country Contacts
Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement was implemented on January 1, 2004, bilateral trade between Chile and the United States has doubled and both trade and investment opportunities abound. Under the Free Trade Agreement, 85 percent of industrial products are traded without duties together with 75 percent of farm production. After just ten years, all trade in non-agricultural goods will take place without tariffs or quotas; for agriculture, the phase-out will take 12 years.
Two-way trade in goods between the United States and Chile increased to $28.3 billion in 2012. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, exports to Chile from the United States have risen by over 90 percent since implementation of the Agreement. Exports to Chile of petroleum, machinery, and fertilizer from the United States have experienced a marked increase since 2003.
Chile is the United States’ 19th largest export destination with almost $18.9 billion in exports. Top imports from Chile to the United States include primary metal manufacturing, agricultural products and chemicals. Top exports from the United States to Chile include petroleum & coal products, machinery, transportation equipment and computers. Nearly 12,000 US firms export approximately 5,000 different products to Chile. Over 2,000 Chilean firms exported as many different products to the US.
According to the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile, over 300 US companies have investments in Chile, with over 40 of them using Chile as a platform for services in the region. Chilean affiliates of US direct investors are estimated to employ over 58,500 people and their value-added contributed 3.2 percent to Chile's gross domestic product.
Chile is nearly twice the size of California and home to over 17.2 million people and renowned copper mines. In 2003, the Chilean economy began to recover after a 1999 slump, reaching a 3.3 percent growth in real GDP. GDP grew by 5 percent in 2012. Since 1990, there has been more than $50 billion in direct foreign investment in Chile. Chile has the most stable and fastest growing economy in the region which puts it in the best position to promote democracy and political freedom. Chile has 59 bilateral or regional trade agreements in effect, more Free Trade Agreements than any other country.
Chile is California's 19th largest export destination. In 2012, California exported more than $2.1 billion to Chile. This included petroleum and coal products, computer and electronic products, machinery, and chemicals. California imports the following from Chile: fresh fruits, forestry products, wines, and seafood.
According to the Chilean embassy, in 2012, there are approximately 300 Chilean students attending universities in California, while there are approximately 150 California students attending universites in Chile.
California Chile Plan
The Chile-California Council met in San Francisco on
Friday, April 16, 2011 for their
first working session. This is a group of 25 individuals from Chile and California representing business, government, academia, the arts, education and science. Chile and California have rich histories and much in common. They share anecdotes of fortune and poverty caused by the Gold Rush. They are natural partners due to geographical similarities, reverse agricultural seasons, and location along the Pacific Rim.
A shared history of cooperation has existed since the 1960s and 1970s within the framework of the Alliance for Progress initiated by the United States. Replacing the assistance model with partnership, both have launched the plan: Chile-California, a strategic association for the 21st Century. The three key initiatives are development of human capital, increase in trade and investment opportunities, and promotion of research and development. The most effective areas for cooperation will be: renewable energies, entrepreneurship and innovation, seismology, astronomy, information technologies, biotechnology, education, culture, agriculture, green initiatives, tourism, motion picture industry, water resource management, infrastructure, and scholarships for internships and college/ university studies.
By intensifying collaboration within these areas, institutions, organizations, universities, research centers, corporations and national individuals will strengthen the bonds of friendship as well as economic, business, technological and educational activities which will result in mutual benefit.
The all-day session was opened by Ambassador Fernando Schmidt, Chile’s undersecretary for foreign affairs, and the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Fermandois. Agustin Huneeus of Quintessa Winery serves as Chair of the Council. Mrs. Susanne Stirling, Vice President of the CalChamber is also a member of the Council.
In June, 2008, President Bachelet signed an MOU with Governor Schwarzenegger of California, marking the start of a program called “Chile-California Plan: A Strategic Association for the 21st Century.” The association is based on the joint commitment of Chile and California to develop business opportunities, expand research and teaching in education, and develop projects in different areas that are strategic for both territories: human capital, education in environmental issues, energy, agriculture, information and communications technologies and trade. There are three top areas that have been determined to be key areas for initial promotion and coordination: human capital, research and development, and trade and business.
It is anticipated that the Plan will generate opportunities for the development of innovative international exchange models and public-private networks in government, business and academic fields.
For further information, please contact: Trade Commissioner – PROCHILE.
Signing of International Wine Trade Memorandum of Understanding Will Ease Burden on U.S. Wine Exporters, Support American Jobs
October 20, 2011 - Santiago, Chile - Members of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), including the United States, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, and Georgia, joined together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Certification Requirements, which will help reduce barriers to international wine trade and support exporters of wine in each participating country. This MOU will facilitate trade in wine among these countries by encouraging the elimination of burdensome requirements and certifications of wine products and ingredients.
"The MOU signed today by these six World Wine Trade Group member countries is a key example of the kind of collaboration between trading partners that is essential to increase trade and support international growth in this global economy," said United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "The production and sale of wine is a valued and robust industry in the United States and this MOU will help contribute to its continued growth and viability, while supporting much needed American jobs in these challenging economic times."
Please find the full release here.
Universites in Chile
DuocUC is one of the largest and most important higher education institutions in Chile, with 64.000 full time students and 9 schools with more than 72 programs. Its 14 campuses are located in the three most developed regions of Chile. These 9 Schools at DuocUC are: Engineering, Informatics and Telecommunications, Communication, Design, Health, Business Administration, Natural Resources, Construction and Tourism.
DuocUC was founded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1968 and is currently part of the network of this recognized and prestigious University. In 2010, Duoc UC obtained 7 out of 7 years of institutional accreditation from the National Commission of Accreditation (CNA), which confirmed the soundness of its project and its relevance among the higher education institutions in Chile. Furthermore near 76% of its study programs have an average of over 5 years of accreditation and more than 50% of them for periods of 6 or 7 years a unique achievement in the Chilean higher education system. Through its 2-year and 4 year-long degrees, DuocUC offers industry-focused programs. It provides a stimulating learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities that paves the way for professional and academic success.
The mission of the Chile Pacific Foundation is to support the economic, cultural and social integration of Chile into the Pacific Basin.
International Luncheon Forum - Chile: Open for Business
The California Chamber of Commerce Council for International Trade hosted An International Luncheon Forum "Chile: Open for Business" Thursday, April 12, 2012 for Ambassador Felipe Bulnes Chilean Ambassador to the United States.
Ambassador Bulnes (left) greeting CalChamber
President and CEO Allan Zaremberg.
From Left to Right: Agustin Huneeus, President, Chile-California Council,
Susanne Stirling, Vice President, International Affairs, CalChamber,
Ambassador Felipe Bulnes, Consul General Rolando Ortega, Consulate General of Chile, Rodrigo Ballivian, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce in Chile, Cristobal Barros, Executive Director, Chile - California Plan
Chilean Ambassadors Highlight Partnership Opportunities at CalChamber Lunch
“Tall Ship” Promotes Trade Between Chile and California
(July 28, 2011) The Chilean “Tall” Training Ship Buque Escuela Esmeralda recently called on the Ports of San Diego and San Francisco to highlight trade between Chile and California.
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(Left to right) Rolando Ortega, Chilean Consul General in San Francisco, Carlos Hinrichsen, International Affairs Director, Duoc University Chile, Susanne Stirling, Vice President International Affairs, CalChamber, Jorge Martinez Duran, President, Valparaiso Chile Chamber of Commerce.
Chilean President Piñera Visits Southern California, Witnesses MOU Signing - September 2010
Ambassador Arturo Fermandois (right) and Ambassador Fernando Schmidt (left) speak at a CalChamber International Luncheon Forum on April 14, 2011.
(April 15, 2011) As a global leader in multiple areas, California can provide Chile with opportunities for innovation, education and economic growth, Ambassador Fernando Schmidt, Chile’s undersecretary for foreign affairs, told guests at the California Chamber of Commerce International Luncheon yesterday. Chilean Ambassador to the United States Arturo Fermandois joined Ambassador Schmidt in expressing hopes for a successful Chile-California partnership.
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Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver, Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Arturo Fermandois (left) and U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Alejandro Wolff (right).
Calif. governor signs pact with Chilean president Sacramento Bee, September 24, 2010
Governor Meets Chilean President Piñera, Witnesses Signing of MOUs between California and Chile Universities
Governor's Office, September 24, 2010
Governor Schwarzenegger and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera witnessing the signing of MOUs between California and Chile universities. From left to right: UCLA Chancellor Dr. Gene Block, UCLA Anderson School of Management Dean Judy Olian, Chile President Sebastián Piñera, Adolfo Ibanez University's Business School Dean Alfonso Gomez and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Chilean President Piñera, Gov. Schwarzenegger visit campus
UCLA Press Release, September 24, 2010
|Flanked by the new Chilean Ambassador to the United States and the new U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Chilean President Piñera addresses the newly formed Chile-California Council, consisting of U.S. and Chilean government and business leaders. The council, developed by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has the aim of promoting, supporting and providing guidance to public and private Chilean initiatives to be developed in the State of California. Susanne Stirling of the CalChamber sits on this council. |
Presidente Piñera tras su reunión con el gobernador Schwarzenegger: “Hemos refortalecido la alianza estratégica entre California y Chile”
President of Chile, September 24, 2010
|Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Chile Alejandro D. Wolff with Susanne Stirling, CalChamber vice president of international affairs.|
Chile’s President Piñera Concludes Visit To U.S. With Visits
Santiago Times - Chile, September 26, 2010
California Trade Mission to Chile - September 2009
Chilean President Bachelet Visits California
To help encourage bilateral trade and investment, the California Chamber of Commerce participated in the California Trade Mission to Chile. The delegation traveling to Santiago, the capital of Chile, for the September 27-29 mission included government and business representatives from all over North, Central and South America attending the Americas Competitiveness Forum.
(September 28, 2009) Preparing for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to promote trade and investment between California and Chile are (from left) Paul Simons, U.S. Ambassador to Chile; Susanne Stirling, CalChamber Vice President, international affairs; Richard Garcia, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile; Carlos Valderrama, Senior Vice President, global initiatives, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; and Jose Goni, Chilean Ambassador to the United States.
Participating in the Forum were President of Chile Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the Chilean Minister of Economy, Hugo Lavados, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.
The September 2009 California trade mission followed up the June 2008 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between California and Chile meant to promote collaboration in “human capital development,” education, environmental protection, energy, agriculture, information and communication technology, trade and business.
A Memorandum of Understand between the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile and the California Chamber of Commerce together with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, was signed in Santiago, Chile, on September 28, 2009 to encourage and promote trade and investment between the chambers.
Visit Spotlights Continuing Abundant Trade Opportunities in Chile
(October 19, 2007) Mateo Budinich, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile, meets with Susanne Stirling, vice president of international affairs for the Califorrnia Chamber of Commerce,to review the impacts of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 2004.
Read the Full Article - Alert, October 19, 2007