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Paraguay and Chile closer to bilateral FTA after Piñera visit

Thursday, September 30th 2021 - 09:46 UTC
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Chile keeps building up commercial ties in the region Chile keeps building up commercial ties in the region

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera's visit to Asunción has left his country closer to a free trade agreement with Paraguay, it was announced.

After meeting with his Paraguayan colleague Mario Abdo Benítez, both leaders appeared at a press conference to explain the progress made during the talks.

Abdo said the two governments will work for the good of the economy of Paraguay and Chile and that bilateral relations “have become a strategic asset.” He added he hoped a free trade agreement may be signed shortly.

Both heads of state also addressed connectivity, particularly the Bioceanic Road Corridor, which “will allow Paraguay to be a strategic partner to access the market in a more competitive way for production in the region,“ Abdo pointed out.

He added that the first stage of the oceanic road was to be completed by February 2022.

Both presidents also spoke about the free trade zone Paraguay has in Antofagasta and about the offer made by Paraguay to Chile to set up their own in Villeta, Chaco’i, and also probably in Carmelo Peralta.

The submarine connectivity cable linking the region from Chile to Asia and Australia was also on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Piñera announced the donation of 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19, which would be the second such assistance since the beginning of the sanitary crisis. ”We are going to continue writing pages in this fraternal history of friendship between Paraguay and Chile,“ said Piñera Tuesday, and acknowledged both heads of state had discussed an Economic Complementation Agreement. The fourth and final round of negotiations will be held next month, Piñera explained.

”We have made progress in terms of integration and, especially, joining forces in the face of the great challenges of modern times,“ Piñera added.

Paraguay was another stop in Piñera's regional tour which included Uruguay earlier this week and Colombia last week when he discussed with President Iván Duque the strengthening of the Pacific Alliance and Prosur, as well as measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

”War, violence, can develop in an instant; peace is built with vocation, commitment, resilience, which is not overnight, and you are on the right path,” Piñera stressed during that part of his trip.

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