Chile country brief
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Australia and Chile have a strong bilateral relationship with growing trade and investment.
Mining, resources, education and research, people-to-people links.
One of the fastest growing economies in Latin America in recent decades, with an Indo-Pacific focus and emerging bilateral links in green energy and connectivity.
In 1899, Chile opened a consular office in Newcastle, NSW. Australia and Chile established diplomatic relations in 1945, and Australia opened a diplomatic legation in Santiago in 1946.
In 1968, Australia upgraded to an embassy in Chile, a move reciprocated by Chile in 1969.
Chile has Consulates-General in Sydney and Melbourne and Honorary Consuls in Queensland and Western Australia.
Australia and Chile are members of the WTO, APEC, IMF, World Bank, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), OECD, Cairns Group, United Nations (UN), and UN organisations.
Chile is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank, Organisation of American States (OAS), CELAC, FEALAC, UNASUR and Pacific Alliance. It is an associate member of the Andean Community and Mercosur.
Australia's foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.
- Chilean visitors to Australia (2019 Dept of Home Affairs) #
- Australian visitors to Chile (primary destination (2019 Dept of Home Affairs)#*
- Resident Australian population born in Chile (2016 Census)
- Australian residents of Chilean descent (2016 Census)
- Chilean Working Holiday Makers visas granted (2019 Dept of Home Affairs
- Chilean students in Australia (2019 Dept of Education)
# This data is owned by Home Affairs. It provides quarterly updates to this data on its website.
* Chile reports the number of Australian visitors as 17,544 - Chilean Ministry of Tourism (Q1 January – March 2020).
High level engagement
- 2020 October — Prime Minister Morrison spoke to President Piñera (virtual meeting).
- 2020 October — October — Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne spoke to Minister for Foreign Affairs Andrés Allamand (virtual meeting).
- 2020 September — Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham spoke to Vice Minister for Trade Rodrigo Yañez (virtual meeting).
- 2019 November — Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne met Minister for Foreign Affairs Ribera at the G20 (Japan).
Agreements with Chile
- In progress — Pacific Alliance FTA (under negotiation)
- Current — Work and holiday Visa (WHV)
- 2018 — Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
- 2015 — MoU on Education
- 2013 — Income tax treaty
- 2009 — Australia- Chile FTA (ACLFTA)
- 2004 — International Social Security Agreement
- 2001 — Air Services Agreement
Australian Embassy in Chile
Isidora Goyenechea 3621, 9th, 12th and 13th Flrs
Santiago de Chile
Tel: +56 2 2 550 3500
Many alumni of Australian institutions have a high profile in Chile. The Australian Embassy holds events such as annual alumni awards and masterclasses with Australian experts.
Chile has been one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies in recent decades. With average GDP growth of 2.9 per cent over the past 10 years, poverty has significantly reduced.
Australia and Chile are mining and agricultural economies, with an Indo-Pacific outlook. The Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (ACIFTA), which entered into force in 2009, has underpinned a rapid increase in engagement between both countries, with some 200 Australian companies now operating in Chile.
The Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (ACLFTA), was Australia’s fifth Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the first with a Latin American country. The FTA is comprehensive, covering goods, services and investment.
Chile has signed but yet to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
An FTA with the Pacific Alliance regional trading bloc (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru)is also being negotiated.
Education and research cooperation have also become important areas of engagement. In 2020, Chile announced Sydney as the landing point for their transoceanic internet cable project.
The Australian Government supports Australian investors in Chile by providing advice on political, economic and regulatory environments.
Austrade aims to attract foreign direct investment into Australia. It also identifies market opportunities and promotes the capabilities of Australian exporters and education providers.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a relatively open and stable business environment, well-qualified workforce and direct flights to Australia made Chile an ideal base for Australian companies. Chile is notable in the region for its business-friendly environment, strong institutions, and macro-economic stability.
Around 200 Australian companies are active in Chile, over one quarter listed on the ASX200. The majority of Australian companies work in and around Chile’s mining industry, although the range of sectors attracting Australian business has diversified in recent years.
Areas of opportunity include agribusiness, mining services, energy and water, education and training, and financial services.
See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Chile.