Chile celebrates National Day at Expo 2020, begins bilateral CEPA negotiations with the UAE


The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the first between a Latam country and the UAE, span a host of business verticals 

Dubai:Chile at the Expo 2020 Dubai celebrated the country’s National Day and stated that negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE, initiated at the start of the expo to strengthen bilateral trade relations, is all set to begin soon.

The Chilean officials at the Expo 2020 said the decision to begin the CEPA negotiations on the auspicious occasion of the National Day comes in the context of the robust growth in the country’s trade last year with the UAE at US$260 million. 

Speaking at the National Day official ceremony at the Expo, His Excellency Rodrigo Yanez, Vice Minister of Trade, Chile, said, “It’s an honour to visit Expo again after inauguration of the pavilion in October. It has been five months of intense work together. We have received over 100k people who have seen our gastronomy, art, and innovations. About 110 companies have invested here and this is proof that our participation at Expo 2020 is relevant. The Expo has ignited a flame in us to set up better relations for the wellbeing of people of both the nations.”

“Our participation here is a result of three years of diplomatic relations. For Chile, the UAE is a strong partner. We have signed an agreement with the UAE government to begin negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). We hope to strengthen the bridges that connect both the countries through our successful participation at Expo,” he added. 

“The CEPA will be an ambitious milestone in the UAE-Chile relationship, taking it further to a privileged partnership between the two countries in trade. It is also significant that this is the UAE’s first trade treaty with a Latin American country, while for Chile, it is a first ever in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” said HE Yanez further said. 

“The CEPA will add further momentum to bilateral trade, becoming a fruitful platform for a more prosperous, modern and dynamic economic relationship between Chile and the UAE. Moreover, the newly forged bilateral understanding will also help both countries adequately face common challenges paving the way for renewal of economies and social development,” he added.

The CEPA was initiated in October 2021 at the kickoff of Expo 2020 Dubai by the Chilean Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yanez and the Minister of Trade of the UAE, Thani Al Zeyoudi.

Over the last decade, bilateral trade has been on a growth trail with Chilean exports to the UAE growing at an annual average rate 6 per cent, while imports to the Latin American country continuing to increase at 18.6 per cent.

It is envisaged that the CEPA will include agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, digital economy, SMES and intellectual property protection, among a host of others. The CEPA will help foster mutually beneficial and comprehensive growth of trade in goods and services, investment, economic cooperation.

‘For both Chile and the UAE, the CEPA is a priority, and we will look forward to conclude it at the earliest to reap the benefits,” said HE Yanez, adding that the agreement will also nurture online commerce and will go hand in hand with market access, increased investment flows, while offering an opportunity to reduce tariffs and streamline customs procedures at both ends. 

The agreement will also support Chile’s ambition to increase its presence and networks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, particularly with the UAE with which Chile shares many commonalities.