Laguna San Rafael, Región de Aisén, Chile
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Bilateral Relations

Chile and Australia have a long-standing diplomatic relationship (1945) characterized by their affinity and complementarity in sectors such as mining, education, trade and investment, science and technology, defense, energy and Antarctic issues. There is also collaboration on issues of human rights, gender equality, indigenous peoples, environment, innovation, connectivity, infrastructure and inter-parliamentary links, among others. For Australia, Chile is a benchmark in Latin America, while for our country Australia is an excellent partner in the Asia Pacific. At the international level, both are considered "like minded" countries.

The community of Chilean origin in Australia exceeds 30 thousand people, and is the fifth largest in the world.

A central point of the bilateral relationship was the signing, in July 2008, of a Free Trade Agreement between Chile and Australia, a comprehensive and state-of-the-art instrument, which entered into force in January 2009.

The President Sebastián Piñera made an Official Visit to Australia between September 10 and 11, 2012. In the political and commercial economic sphere, the objectives were met at the highest level on bilateral relations, their development was evaluated and their evolution projected in the medium and long term. Memorandum of Understanding on Triangular Cooperation and Mining Cooperation were signed, raising the possibility of specifying other agreements in the field of Agriculture and Education in a short period of time.

President Piñera's visit also contributed to consolidating the image and presence that Chile maintains in Australia. This State Visit resulted in an active presence of national authorities in Australia, which considered the official visits of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mining (on 2 occasions) of the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Labor, the Minister of Culture, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, the Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, the Undersecretary of Mining, senior officials from AGCI, ProChile, ODEPA and the Committee of Foreign Investments.

In recent years, the then Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop (2015), the Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove (2016) visited Chile. The President of the Australian Senate, Stephen Parry, traveled to Chile in 2017 and so did his successor, Scott Ryan, in 2018. That year, the then Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, traveled Chile to sign the TPP-11. The Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency of Australia (WGEA), Libby Lyons (September 2018), also maintained a work program in Chile. The Chief of the Australian Navy (Chief of Navy), Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett, made an official visit to Chile in March 2018. Numerous Australian authorities from various sectors traveled to our country in 2019 as part of the various initiatives of the APEC Chile year.

In relation to visits by Chilean authorities to Australia, in 2018, a Chilean parliamentary delegation chaired by the Second Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mario Venegas Cárdenas (DC), traveled to that country, invited by their Australian counterparts; by Deputy Ricardo Celis Araya (PPD), and by Deputies Natalia Castillo Muñoz (RD) and Catalina Del Real Mihovilovic (RN). Also in 2018, the Undersecretary for Women and Gender Equity, Carolina Cuevas, made a working visit. In 2019, the then Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism of Chile, José Ramón Valente, made a working visit to Australia. The same year, the then Under Secretary for Mining, Pablo Terrazas, traveled to Australia and participated in mining conferences in Perth and Brisbane. Also, in June 2019, the Director General for International Economic Affairs, Rodrigo Yáñez, held a meeting program in Australia.

Regarding the highest-level dialogue, President Sebastián Piñera held a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in the context of the APEC Leaders Summit, which took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in November 2018. The leaders spoke again in the framework of the G20 Leaders' Summit that took place in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019.

The bilateral link has allowed the generation of a wide network of agreements that involve government, business, academic entities and research centers, whose purpose is to consolidate a fluid exchange of people, goods, services, investments and knowledge.

Regarding the mobility of people, the Work & Holiday or Work and Vacation Visa program for young Chileans between 18 and 30 years old, who want to travel and work staying up to 12 months in Australia, stands out. Since February 2019 it increased to 3,400 places. 

It is important to note the presence in Chile of international centers of excellence in applied science, like CSIRO (Australia's national science agency) and the Institute of Sustainable Minerals of the University of Queensland, as well as the regional representations of the states of Victoria and Queensland.