Brazil and Chile have a common Latin American identity and share fundamental values for their peoples and governments such as their democratic and libertarian vocation; their strong commitment to Human Rights; their firm will to combat poverty, exclusion and social inequality.
At the bilateral level, the relationship between Brazil and Chile has acquired a qualitative dimension in recent years that deserves to be highlighted. Our country has been able to promote an ambitious agenda, finding in Brazil a relevant partner in the most diverse fields of bilateral, regional and multilateral ties.
The relationship with Brazil is projected with new emphasis and challenges, reflecting a shared vision in a successful model of democracy whose support base seeks greater social inclusion. Chile also seeks a convergence towards the processes of integration and political dialogue. Brazil is a relevant actor in this matter. Likewise, Chile maintains common positions on various issues on the multilateral agenda. Important fields of this relation are science, technology, culture, energy, cooperation and the realization of physical interconnection projects between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
At the regional level, Chile became an associate member of Mercosur in 1996 and that same year signed the Chile-Mercosur Economic Complementation Agreement (ACE 35), fully in force. Also, in 2015, both countries signed an Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Agreement (ACFI). In turn, both countries are working in their respective areas for a greater approach between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance.
Chile has a resident Embassy in Brasilia and General Consulates in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It also has Commercial Offices of ProChile in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. At the same time, there are Honorary Consulates of our country in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Campo Grande, Curitiba, Salvador and Sao Francisco do Sul.
In turn, Brazil has a resident Embassy in Santiago, a Consulate General in our capital and Honorary Consulates in Iquique, Calama, Valparaíso, Temuco and Punta Arenas.
A little bit of history
Brazil and Chile established diplomatic relations on April 22, 1836, and in 1838 the first agreement between the two countries was signed, the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation. The first representative of Chile accredited in 1865 to the Empire of Brazil (1822-1889) was the Chilean politician, diplomat and prominent intellectual José Victorino Lastarria (1817-1887). Later, in 1922 both countries elevated their Legations (in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago) to the category of Embassies. In 1977 the new offices of the Chilean Embassy were inaugurated in Brasilia, on the occasion of the change of the Brazilian capital (1960). Among the most recent Chilean diplomatic representatives in Brazil are Carlos Martínez, Heraldo Muñoz, Juan Martabit, Eduardo Mena, Carlos Charme, Jorge Montero, Fernando Schmidt, Jaime Gazmuri, and from 2018 to date, the career diplomat Ambassador Fernando Schmidt.
Trade and Investments
A milestone in the bilateral relationship was the signing in November 2018 of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Brazil and Chile by Presidents Michel Temer and Sebastián Piñera. Fully approved by the Chilean side, only the parliamentary ratification of Brazil is expected. The agreement, which will complement the ACE 35 signed by Chile with Mercosur countries in the 1990s, and which regulates our trade in goods, incorporates new cutting-edge disciplines such as Telecommunications, Electronic Commerce, Trade in Services, Environment, Labor, Gender, MSMEs, Trade Economic Cooperation, Technical Barriers to Trade, Public Procurement and Competition Policy, Trade Facilitation, Good Regulatory Practices and Temporary Entry of Business Persons.
With 213 million inhabitants, Brazil is our main commercial partner in the region, representing 4.5% of our exports to the world and 30% of our shipments to Latin America, totalling US$ 3,157 million in 2019. Trade between the two countries in 2019 totalled 8.3 billion US$. Also, in 2019, Chile was the main supplier of products to Brazil, such as: copper cathodes, salmon, bottled wine, methanol, iodine, among others. In turn, Chile was the main destination for Brazilian exports such as: boneless bovine meat, vehicle bodies, iron or steel manufactures, among others.
In the investment sector (2019), Brazil is the main recipient of Chile's direct investment abroad, which today amounts to almost US$ 35 billion. In turn, Brazil has investments in Chile for 4.5 billion US$.
This important project seeks to link the localities of Puerto Murtinho in Brazil with the ports of the North of Chile (Antofagasta, Mejillones, Puerto Angamos, Iquique and Arica), crossing the northern region of Paraguay (Chaco Boreal) and part of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in Argentina. Chile has an active and permanent commitment to its development.
Chile attaches great importance to this initiative, assumed in the Declaration of Asunción by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, promoted by the Chilean Government with the aim of achieving a pragmatic rapprochement between the countries that look to the Atlantic with those that they make it to the Pacific. There are four essential concepts for the development of the project: conviction of integration; common interests; strengthening trust; and political will. Periodically, meetings, seminars and visits are held to the areas that will constitute the corridor in order to advance on the different fronts that imply its implementation.
The richness of the cultural exchange between Brazil and Chile is expressed in a multiplicity of actions in different dimensions of artistic activity. Our country has participated in various initiatives in Brazil that have resulted in a visibility that has been positively valued by Brazilian society and cultural institutions. From the Sao Paulo Biennial to Film festivals in the main Brazilian capitals, Chile has always sought to show its great cultural production.
Among the most recent initiatives and events are the Latin American and Caribbean Film Festival carried out by the Embassies of these countries in the federal capital; Chile participated for the first time in 2019 in the IV Brasilia LGBTI Film Festival; a collaboration with cultural activities and exhibitions with the Instituto Cervantes network in Brazil; with the Translation Support Program of the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Chancellery (DIRAC), works by Chilean writers such as Gonzalo Rojas, Lina Meruane, Maria José Ferrada, Alia Trabucco Zerán and Diamela Eltit have been published in Brazil together with local publishers.
National artists such as the classical pianist Mahani Teave, Inti Illimani, Isabel and Tita Parra, among others, have recently performed in Brazil with great public success. In turn, our Embassy, which has a large collection of Chilean art, has been participating since 2018, with guided visits to the public, supporting the actions of the Heritage Day of Chile (May). Chilean visual artists have been present in important plastic events in Brazil such as the SP Art Fair, the Mercosur Biennial and biographical exhibitions have been held in prestigious institutions, such as the Moreira Salles Institute (of the Chilean photographers Paz Errázuriz and Sergio Larraín).