Jan 26 (Reuters) – Chile hopes to sign a free trade agreement with Thailand soon and is seeking to expand a limited one it has with India, as the Andean country looks to deepen its open, export-dependent model, foreign affairs minister Alfredo Moreno said on Saturday.
The country is also working on broader agreements, including with fellow Pacific Alliance members Colombia, Mexico and Peru as well as negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“Chile has just concluded negotiations with Thailand, I expect (the agreement) will be signed soon,” Moreno said. “And (Chile) is starting negotiations with India to expand the very limited agreement we have with India.”
He didn’t provide details of the agreements or time frames.
External trade represents around 75 percent of Chile’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). World No.1 copper producer Chile also exports wine, fruits, salmon and wood pulp.
The South American country has increasingly turned to Asia as a growing market for its products.
At the 2005 APEC leaders’ meeting, held in Korea, Chile and Thailand agreed to study the possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement. The two governments set up a joint feasibility study work group towards this end, which met for the first time in Bangkok, Thailand in February 2006. The second meeting was held in May 2006 in Santiago, Chile. On 12 May 2010, the government of Thailand approved the draft of the negotiation framework of a free trade agreement with Chile.