Chile country brief - Bilateral Fact Sheet
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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, a Trade Commission in Sydney and Honorary Consuls in Queensland and Western Australia.
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.
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 (2020 Dept of Home Affairs) #
- Australian visitors to Chile (primary destination (2020 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 (2020 Dept of Home Affairs
- Chilean students in Australia (2020 Dept of Education)
# This data is owned by Home Affairs. They provide quarterly updates to this data on their website.
*Chile reports the number of Australian visitors as 17,544 - Chilean Ministry of Tourism (Q1 January – March 2020).
High level engagement
- 2021 October – then Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan met Vice Minister for Trade Rodrigo Yañez (Paris OECD side-meeting).
- 2021 February and May – then Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan spoke to Vice Minister for Trade Rodrigo Yañez (virtual).
- 2021 May – visit to Chile by Chief of Royal Australian Navy Rear Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.
- 2020 October – then Prime Minister Morrison spoke to President Piñera (virtual meeting). 2020 October - October – then Minister for Foreign Affairs and then Minister for Women, Marise Payne spoke to Minister for Foreign Affairs Andrés Allamand (virtual meeting).
- 2020 September – then Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham spoke to Vice Minister for Trade Rodrigo Yañez (virtual meeting).
- 2019 November – then Minister for Foreign Affairs and then 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)
- 2021 – MOU on Defence Cooperation
- 2018 – Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
- 2015 – MoU on Education
- 2013 – Income tax treaty
- 2009 – Australia- Chile FTA (ACLFTA)
- 2006 – Work and holiday Visa (WHV)
- 2004 – International Social Security Agreement
- 2001 - Air Services Agreement
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.
The Council on Australia-Latin America Relations (COALAR) provides grants to enhance Australia's economic, political and social relations with Latin America.
Chile has been one of Latin America's fastest-growing economies in recent decades and poverty has significantly reduced. Chile's economy has quickly rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to grow nine per cent in 2021.
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 150 Australian companies now operating in Chile. It was Australia's fifth Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the first with a Latin American country.
Chile ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on 21 February 2023.
An FTA with the Pacific Alliance regional trading bloc (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru)is also being negotiated.
The Australian Government supports Australian investors in Chile by providing advice on political, economic and regulatory environments. The Joint Declaration on Investment Treaty Practice reflects Australia and Chile’s mutual desire to work closely on the evolving practise of international Investment Agreements under both the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Australia – Chile Free Trade Agreement.
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 150 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, renewable energy including green hydrogen, water, education and training, and financial services.
See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Chile: smartraveller.gov.au