On 8 December 2006, the Australian Government agreed
in-principle to commence a bilateral negotiation process with
Chile, with a view to developing a comprehensive FTA to
strengthen and deepen the trade relationship.
In the first half of 2007, the Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade conducted a series of consultations with Australian
industry, state and territory governments and other interested
stakeholders to assess barriers to trade with Chile that could
be addressed by a free trade agreement.
On 18 July 2007 Australia agreed to enter into FTA
negotiations with Chile. Four negotiating rounds were held
between August 2007 and April 2008 along with two
intersessional meetings in March 2008 to progress the
negotiations in particular areas. On 27 May 2008, the Minister
for Trade, Simon Crean, and the Chilean Foreign Minister,
Alejandro Foxley, concluded the negotiations.
On 30 July 2008, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith and Mr Foxley signed the Agreement in Canberra. The FTA text was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 17 June 2008. Both Parties exchanged diplomatic notes to this effect in Santiago
de Chile on 4 February and agreed that the Treaty would enter
into force on 6 March 2009.