CANBERRA.- According to the Australian minister of Trade, Simon Crean, a new free trade agreement made between Australia and Chile on Tuesday will further foment mutual investments between the two nations within the industries of mining and raw materials.
Australia strongly defends free trade and presides over the Cairns group, which includes 19 agricultural exporter countries. Crean stated that the new agreement will encourage a multilateral trade pact to be passed through current negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
This free trade agreement is the fifth of its kind for Australia. The center-left government administration (in power since November) has also decided to pursue similar deals with India, China, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The trade agreement between Australia and Chile represents an annual exchange of over US $850 million.
Australia is the fourth largest foreign investor in Chile, with approximately US $3 billion in Australian investment going mainly to the mining industry.
At this point, Australia has already signed free trade agreements with New Zealand, the United States, Singapore and Thailand.