Chile Uruguay Free Trade Agreement

In another area that has recently been the subject of several negotiations, e-commerce, the two countries have made commitments to achieve high-quality modern disciplines to regulate this type of trade, including standards for the location of computer systems and provisions to maintain the fluid flow of cross-border information. These two regulations will enable the Internet to act as a catalyst for innovation and economic development, allowing both countries to exploit the export potential of digital products from Chile and Uruguay, while creating the conditions for increased trade in goods and services. Chile and Uruguay signed the free trade agreement between Chile and Uruguay on 4 October 2016. It is a “last generation” agreement covering topics such as e-commerce, the environment, labour, trade and gender, SMEs, cooperation, transparency and corruption. The relevant authorities have described the agreement as a “next generation free trade agreement” as it contains a specific chapter on the role of women in international trade. The parties reaffirmed their determination to effectively implement legislation, policies and good practices on gender equality and equality in general. “We believe this is one of the most innovative chapters of any global free trade agreement because it aims to highlight the role of women in creating economic growth, trade and investment,” Muoz said. With regard to trade facilitation, the transparency chapter provides that States Parties must publish all standards, procedures and administrative decisions that may affect trade and investment between them before they come into force and allow interested parties to comment on the proposed measures. Finally, the agreement is expected to intensify trade with both the industrial industry and the agricultural industry, which currently accounts for a significant share of bilateral trade flows, as well as trade in services and direct investment. Trade between Chile and Uruguay reached $293 million in 2016, but, as in all of Latin America, it has declined by 45% since 2014, more than the decline in world trade.

The bilateral balance is slightly favourable to Uruguay ($23 million in 2016), as Chilean exports to Uruguay amounted to $135 million, while imports reached $158 million. In early 2016, Chile and Uruguay decided to raise their economic relations to a higher level by engaging in negotiations for a next-generation free trade agreement. This agreement will cover trade issues already negotiated in the Economic Supplement Agreement between Chile and MERCOSUR (ACE 35) in force since 1996 and which will include new trade disciplines that will deepen their bilateral trade relations. The second round of free trade negotiations between Chile and Uruguay took place on 12 April 2016 in Santiago, Chile. The third round took place in May 2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Chile and Uruguay reached consensus on important aspects of their future free trade agreement during the fourth round of negotiations in Chile on 4 August 2016. After four rounds of negotiations that began in February 2016 and legal audits of the texts, the two countries reached a total consensus on 4 October in Montevideo. “We are writing history. We are two countries in the world`s South that deepen integration not only through words, but also through deeds,” said Minister Muoz after the signing of the agreement.

— bella.mark