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TPD > Canada-Chile > Joint Statement 1998

Canada-Chile FTA-Related Documents

Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement Commission

 First Meeting
Santiago, Chile
January 21, 1998

Joint Statement of the Ministers


January 21, 1998

Following the inaugural meeting of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement Commission meeting on January 21, Chilean Foreign Minister Jose Miguel Insulza and Canadian International Trade Minister Sergio Marchi are pleased to release the joint statement of the Governments of Canada and Chile which outlines the overall results.

Joint Statement of the Ministers

We welcomed the opportunity to hold this inaugural meeting of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) Commission here in Santiago in the context of the Team Canada visit to Chile. The scope and magnitude of this mission exemplifies the unprecedented interest of our governments and private sectors to forge a deeper, more robust partnership.

The conclusion of the CCFTA, and the launch today of its Commission, heralds a new era in our bilateral cooperation, which has already expanded significantly in recent years. Indeed, our two-way trade has doubled over the past four years to US $560 million (Cdn $760 million) in 1996, and Canada has become the second-largest foreign investor in Chile with current and planned investments approaching US $6 billion (Cdn $8 billion).

Through this early first meeting of the Commission, we reaffirmed our commitment to implementing fully the provisions of the CCFTA, which will promote enhanced trade and investment flows, and contribute to stronger economic growth and the creation of new high-quality jobs in both of our economies.

With the entry into force of this Agreement on July 5, 1997, tariffs were eliminated on products which make up the majority of our two-way trade. Market access on remaining products has been further enhanced with the second round of tariff cuts on January 1, 1998. We are confident that our two-way trade will expand significantly, and will be boosted by the realization of numerous commercial initiatives undertaken during the Team Canada visit.

We reviewed the progress achieved in implementing the specific provisions of the CCFTA. In particular, we welcomed the signature this morning of the Convention on the avoidance of double taxation, the first of Chile's new generation of tax treaties, which meets one of the key commitments contained in the CCFTA (Annex O-03.1). This Convention will facilitate the growth in trade and investment between our countries by establishing a more stable taxation framework for our individuals and companies doing business in each other's country.

We took a number of specific actions in respect to the institutional development and further elaboration of the Agreement, which are outlined in the Annex to this statement.

We took note of the significant progress that has been made in implementing the labour and environment side agreements concluded in parallel with the CCFTA. The first meeting of the national secretariats under the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation took place in Santiago in December, and advanced a number of key institutional issues. Under the Canada-Chile Agreement on Labour Cooperation, the first cooperative activity -- a seminar on labour standards and occupational safety and health -- was held in Santiago earlier this month. The full and effective implementation of these agreements will enhance our understanding of labour and environment issues in our countries, and broaden the benefits of liberalized trade across all elements of our civil societies

We agreed on the importance of sustaining the momentum for further and comprehensive trade liberalization across a range of multilateral and regional fora. At the multilateral level, our priorities are to ensure the fullest possible implementation of all existing WTO commitments, to complete the WTO's work program, and to organize the preparatory work for a possible new round of multilateral trade negotiations. Noting that 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the GATT, we agreed that this will be an ideal occasion to highlight to the public the importance of the multilateral trading system to economic growth and prosperity, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We agreed to work together prior to the May 1998 WTO Ministerial Conference to ensure that this meeting is as productive as possible in advancing further multilateral trade liberalization, particularly by instructing WTO bodies on the work necessary for the preparation of the substantive agenda for the 1999 WTO Ministerial Conference.

In the context of the recent meetings of APEC Leaders and Ministers, held in Vancouver last November, and in view of the mutual understanding reached in this forum, we agreed to work together to achieve the goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.

Finally, we endorsed the continued dismantling of trade barriers in the hemisphere through expanded bilateral and regional trade agreements, and welcomed the opportunities created for Canadian and Chilean companies to join forces in pursuing commercial prospects throughout the region. In particular, we noted the significant progress that has been achieved in the preparations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the historic opportunity before us to realize a comprehensive free trade agreement in the hemisphere. We agreed on the central importance of moving forward with this initiative and agreed to redouble our efforts to work together with our partners in the hemisphere to ensure the successful launch of the FTAA negotiations at the Santiago Summit in April.

Annex to the Joint Statement of Ministers: Implementation Actions

In accordance with its mandate to oversee the implementation and further elaboration of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the January 21, 1998 inaugural meeting of the Free Trade Commission established pursuant to this Agreement:

  1. took note that all seven Committees and Working Groups established by the Agreement are operational, and instructed the responsible officials to develop workplans for each body in accordance with the mandates provided in the CCFTA and to report on progress achieved to the next meeting of the Commission;

  2. received the report of the Committee on Trade in Goods and Rules of Origin which met earlier this week in Santiago and agreed on a package of technical rectifications to amend Chapters C and D of the Agreement and the Uniform Regulations for Chapter D, which will be confirmed by a subsequent exchange of letters;

  3. welcomed the completion and dissemination of the Canadian public explanatory document on the temporary entry procedures for business persons of the Agreement, as called for in Article K-04.1(b) of the Agreement, and looked forward to the completion of the Chilean counterpart document by the established deadline of July 5, 1998;

  4. took note of the progress of the Committee on Telecommunications Standards in developing conformity assessment procedures for the mutual acceptance of testing results from facilities in our respective countries, as called for in Article I-04.6 of the Agreement, and expressed the expectation that the Committee will complete this process by July 5, 1998;

  5. decided to establish a Working Group on Investment and Services with the following responsibilities:

    • to focus on actions required by the Parties to implement the Agreement (e.g., further liberalization of quantitative restrictions, elimination of certain citizenship or permanent residency requirements, and work programs on licensing or certification of professional service providers)

    • to exchange pertinent information with respect to the laws and other measures that may affect investment and cross-border services

    • to monitor implementation of the chapters on investment and cross-border services

    • to develop procedures for consultation and notification on relevant matters, and

    • to meet or consult annually, or at the request of either Party;

  6. took note the designations of the Canadian national sections of the CCFTA Secretariat, pursuant to Article N-02.1, to provide administrative assistance to dispute settlement panels established under Chapter N of the CCFTA and otherwise facilitate the operation of the Agreement; and of Chile�s intention to designate its national section shortly ;

  7. instructed officials to complete the rosters of panelists for dispute settlement purposes called for under Chapter N and Section II of Chapter G of the Agreement, and the rules of procedure for dispute settlement called for under Article N-12, and to report on progress to the next Commission meeting;
  8. agreed that Canada would host the next regular meeting of the Commission in 1999.

Source: International Trade Canada