b>British expert warns about FAM
A British visiting expert in animal health advised Chilean authorities in Punta Arenas not to lift sanitary barriers imposed to out of the area cattle and produce, if the region wants to remain free of foot and mouth disease, FAM. In a gathering with local cattle breeders Dr. Peter Nettleton said that Magallanes was in a privileged geographical situation, giving the fact that the surrounding and neighbouring areas have had FAM or are exposed to it. Dr. Nettleton indicated that he recommended ensuring the sanitary barriers for Argentine cattle remain, as well as the strict border controls for incoming visitors. This could also be extended to people arriving in the area from the rest of Chile, that has been exposed to beef imports from Mercosur countries suffering FAM breakouts. "I believe FAM is endemic in several regions of Mercosur countries and associate members", underlined Dr. Nettleton.
Radical change in Chile's foreign tradeLatinamerica has been the fastest growing area for Chilean foreign trade during the last decade and now is Chile's main partner. Ten years ago Latinamerica was behind Europe, Asia, North America, but now represents 9,9 billion US dollars equivalent to 27% of Chile's foreign trade. In 1990 Europe with 5,3 billion US dollars represented 33,8% of Chile's foreign trade, behind was Asia with 3,25 billion US dollars, 20%, and then Latinamerica with 2,8 billion equivalent to 17,6%. In the last decade while Latinamerica grew 54%, Europe dropped considerably and now figures with only 18,7% of Chile's foreign trade. Asia on the other hand has managed to keep its share with 20,1%. However it's also the main destination of Chilean exports, 30,6%, -- 5,6 billions US dollars--, which helps to explain why Chile was so vulnerable to the 97/98 Asian financial crisis. In 1990, Europe absorbed 38,7% of Chile's foreign sales, but has now dropped to second place with 4,8 billion US dollars. In ten years North America's share in Chilean foreign trade has fallen from 19,7% to 15,4%.