The Free Trade Agreement between Chile and Japan, which comes into effect next month, will increase Chilean exports to that Asian nation by as much as 400 million US dollars a year, according to newly released Chilean government estimates.
According to a study carried out by the Foreign Ministry Economic Relations Division (Direcon), the Chilean meat industry stands to benefit the most. Chilean meat exports to Japan were valued at 553 million US dollars in 2006, a figure that will rise by as much as 66 million, according to official estimates. Shipments of copper and forestry products, two of Chile's marquee exports, will see yearly gains to the tune of 11.8 million and 10.5 million respectively. Meanwhile, Chilean fruit growers are also expected to see big gains, as wine exports are predicted to grow by 9.6 million a year and fresh fruit exports by another 6 million US dollars. With respect to export growth by region, the Chilean government predicts that Region X and the Santiago Metropolitan Region will reap the most benefits from the FTA with Japan. Japan will also profit from the trade accord. According to the Chilean government numbers, Japanese exports to Chile should increase annually by some 235 million five years after the agreement comes into effect. Additionally, the Direcon study revealed that the Free Trade Agreement will create roughly 56,000 jobs nationwide. Of that number, some 28,000 new posts will be created in the merchandise production sector. The service sector will account for the remaining jobs. Chilean officials in charge of the study were up-beat about their findings. "Our experience shows us that we have always been conservative in our estimations," said Carlos Furche, director of Direcon. The Santiago Times