HA NOI — A free trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and Chile received ratification from both the Chilean Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Wednesday, just five days prior to the visit of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to Asia and Viet Nam.
After being submitted by the Chilean Government for immediate discussion, the FTA gained approval from the Chilean Parliament and other related agencies.
Chilean Senator Jose Garcia Ruminot said the FTA would be a benchmark for trade relations between Viet Nam and Chile and strengthen the latter's trade integration strategy in Asia.
Ruminot said once effective, the FTA would help Chile export products such as pork, fruit and fruit juice to Viet Nam with a preferential tax rate. On the other hand, Viet Nam would benefit from a low tax rate on its exports of footwear, textiles, rice and coffee products to Chile.
The Senator expressed his belief that the countries could bridge potential links to each other's regional markets.
Two-way trade in 2011 was valued at nearly US$475 million, rising from $18.81 million in 2001.
Viet Nam's total exports to Chile reached $137.5 million last year while its imports were worth more than $335.7 million.
The Viet Nam-Chile FTA was signed in the US state of Hawaii in the witness of President Truong Tan Sang and his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera. The two leaders were together to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC 2011).
The Chilean President will visit Viet Nam, the Republic of Korea and Japan from March 20-31.—VNS