British Foreign Secretary highlighted the close political links with Chile and commercial opportunities for UK companies during his brief visit to the country, as part of a more ambitious tour of other South American countries, Peru and Argentina.
It's great to be here in Chile in on the 200th anniversary of the independence of Chile in which the British admiral played a part in not just a political liberation but it was a commercial liberation as well, said foreign secretary Johnson.
And that liberation, he added, has set Chile on the path to becoming one of the great global countries for free trade, and the reason I am here as the first British foreign secretary to come to Chile for 25 years, is to emulate Chile and to learn from you, and to do a free trade deal eventually with Chile itself.
Describing great opportunities to develop in what is an old, rich, historic friendship and partnership between two outward looking and free trading economies, the UK official said it was time to move to a further deck level, in reference to a saying in London about double deck buses.
And in addition to those commercial opportunities there is a political opportunity as well: we see a great chance to be closer to the Pacific Alliance which is a group of free trading countries. For a British audience they should know that is distinct from the Mercosur, which is of course a customs union
Boris Johnson revealed that in his meetings with Chilean officials they discussed Venezuela, where we share very much the perspective of Chile on the tragic events unfolding in that country. The campaign against trading illegal wildlife was also addressed as well as agreeing that it was vile and reprehensible that in the 21st century some countries could support and condone the use of chemical weapons.
The Foreign Secretary held talks with President Sebastian Piñera and Minister of Foreign Affairs Roberto Ampuero and of Economy to discuss further collaboration on international security, defense, and post-Brexit trade opportunities.