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The Foundation hosted a lunch on 27 March in Sydney with Chile’s Minister for the Economy, José Ramón Valente, who was accompanied by staff and the Chilean Ambassador to Australia, HE Patricio Powell.
The lunch was attended by corporate and university members of the Foundation and chaired by Secretary General, Steve Howard, who has had extensive engagement with Chile in the 1990’s.
Minister Valente plays an integral role in the Government of President Sebastián Piñera. He is one of Chile’s economic leaders, bringing about pension fund and economic reform, making it easier to do business and improving the economic competitiveness of the country.
An important ally of Australia on the global stage, Chile is the OECD’s highest ranking South American Economy. It is one of the most open countries in the world and has free trade agreements that connect and link it with over two-thirds of the world’s population and with more than four-fifths of global GDP.
This year, Chile hosts APEC under the theme of “Connecting People, Building the Future”.
The lunch presentation by the Minister and discussion with guests highlighted the economic progress that Chile has made over the past 30 years and the potential for closer collaboration. Deeper Australia business, university and political engagement with Chile was invited and welcomed.
Chile and Australia have much in common, as ‘bookends of the Pacific’, both relying upon open globalisation and free trade. It was agreed that more could be done in working together and with other like-minded nations, in influencing major powers to maintain an open world trading and economic system.
The Minister was briefed on the Foundation’s global roundtable series, including the London and Paris Roundtables in June 2019, where these matters would be discussed and further advanced.