In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporter, Charge d’affaires a.i. Gonzalo Guaiquil at the Chilean Embassy laid stress on historical relations between the two nations, which were found and developed by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Chilean President Salvador Allende.

Charge d’affaires a.i. Gonzalo Guaiquil at the Chilean Embassy

The trip to Vietnam in May 1969 - the time when Vietnam was undergoing the fierce war against the US imperialists - had a huge impact on Salvador Allende, who served as President of the Chilean Senate  at that time, and he decided to establish diplomatic relations with this Southeast Asian country when he became President of Chile, opening a new chapter in the bilateral relations.

Both nations have enjoyed stronger bonds in recent time thanks to rosy economic cooperation, long-lasting friendship and mutual understanding between the people of Chile and Vietnam, the diplomat added.

According to Guaiquil, Chile was the first American nation to ink a free trade deal with Vietnam, and this was an important milestone in trade and investment ties between the two sides.

Expressing his delight at opportunities that the free trade agreement (FTA) has brought to both nations, he said trade in goods between Vietnam and Chile exceeded the 1 billion USD benchmark in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, up over 1 percent year-on-year.

The figure is a vivid illustration for the unceasingly developed trade ties between the two nations, even when the global economy is facing formidable challenges, he underlined.

Since Vietnam was among a few countries achieving positive economic growth in 2020, it is an attractive destination for Chilean investors, he said. The diplomat also commended the Vietnamese Government’s efforts and measures to prevent the pandemic.

Statistics shows that Chile is the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam in Latin America, with two-way trade increased to 1.23 billion USD in 2019 from 170 million USD in 2005. Most of Vietnam’s exports to Chile are footwear, garments and textiles, seafood, steel products, electronic products and spare parts, cement, coffee and rice. Meanwhile, the nation imports copper, pine wood, paper powder, and wine from Chile.

Chile was among one of the very first nations to recognize Vietnam's market economy. Both sides signed the FTA on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Hawaii, the US, in November 2011. The deal officially came into force on January 1, 2014, marking the substantial development in trade relations between two countries.

Guaiquil said Chile wants to further boost trade ties with Vietnam, particularly the trading in Chilean wine and cherry, and Vietnamese tropical fruits.

Additionally, Vietnam and Chile’s cooperation has been expanded to culture, politics and tourism. The visa exemption agreement signed in 2016 has facilitated travelling of citizens of both nations to enhance exchanges and better their mutual understanding, he stressed.

Source: VNA