Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, accompanied President Michelle Bachelet in an intense day in Beijing, China on the State visit to this country.
The day began with a floral offering given by President Bachelet and the official delegation at the center of Tiananmen Square in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes. After this, they were all welcomed by the Chairman of the National People's Congress, Zhang Dejian, in the Great Hall of the People.
Chilean parliamentarians present in the encounter were senators Hernán Larraín and Juan Pablo Letelier, and deputies Denise Pascal, Luis Rocafull and Jorge Sabag. Minister of Economy, Luis Felipe Céspedes, and Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche, along with Ambassador of Chile to China, Jorge Heine, also assisted to this event.
At midday, Foreign Minister Muñoz and President Bachelet, along with the rest of the delegation, participated in the finalization of the "Opportunities in Agribusiness: Investment and Innovation" Seminar. The seminar gathered Chilean and Chinese entrepreneurs to promote opportunities for business and investment in agro industry, and also agricultural innovation and technology between both countries.
The trade between the public and private sectors of both countries is extremely important because China is our main trade partner. As supplier and buyer in 2016, China traded more than 31 billion dollars with Chile. This is 26% more than the bilateral trade in 2006, before the enter into force of the Free Trade Treaty Chile-China.
During the seminar, President Bachelet highlighted "our aspiration is to be a platform for trade between Asia Pacific and South America, in which China is without a doubt, the protagonist of this approach between both continents. On our side, we have an extensive network of trade agreements that allow access to almost every industrial product tariff-free in more than 63 countries".
She added, "I am here to invite you to look further. Trade is a great motor for the world economy, and for the development and growth of our countries. Chile is a relatively small country with enormous potential in the agro industry thanks to its privileged climate. China, the most populated country in the globe, has a trustworthy producer to satisfy the growing and complex needs of its population".
During the afternoon, the Chilean delegation was welcomed by President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, at the bank. The purpose of the meeting was to officially communicate the entrance of Chile to the multilateral financial organization dedicated to investing in infrastructure and telecommunication projects to improve connectivity between Asian and Latin America.
After the meeting, President Bachelet stated: "we are ver happy of being accepted as members of the organization. As Government of Chile, we have to reaffirm our complete membership by doing are part".
She affirmed, "we believe that the AIIB is a multilateral financial institution that gathers countries to attend their infrastructure needs. They promote interconnectivity and economic development through better infrastructure and productive sectors that can aid in growth and improvement on access to basic services".
The agreements signed in this session were:
- Records of the first Chile-China Permanent Binational Commission Meeting.
- Cooperation Agreement on Antarctic matters.
- Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation between Chilean General Directorate of International Economic Affairs (DIRECON) and China Council for the Promotion on International Trade (CCPIT).
- Renovation of the 2013-2017 Five-year Work Plan on agricultural cooperation matters.
- Requirement convention on Chilean fruit transport to the Chinese market by sea and air through other countries.
- Protocol on the entrance of avocado to the Chinese market.
- Memorandum of Understanding, between the Chilean Ministry of Economy and the Chinese National Tourism Administration.
- Memorandum of Cooperation and exchange of information on capital markets, between Chilean Superintendence of Securities and Insurance and China Securities Regulatory Commission.
- A Collaboration agreement between InvestChile and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
- Memorandum of Understanding, for the creation of a joint center of investigations on information technologies between University of Concepción, Harbin Technological Institute, and Datang Telecom.