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Tánaiste and Minister Calleary welcome conclusion of the EU-Chile FTA modernisation negotiations

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, welcomed the formal conclusion of the negotiations to modernise the trade elements of the existing EU-Chile Association Agreement to update our trade relationship with Chile and ensure that its trade provisions reflect the continued evolution of the EU’s trade policy principles of strengthening trade and investment opportunities while advancing trade sustainability commitments.


The Tánaiste remarked:


“The original Trade Agreement with Chile was brokered in 2003, and in that time the global trade and investment environment has changed considerably. It is therefore welcome, that the EU and Chile have reached an agreement to modernise their trade and investment relationship to reflect the policy developments which have taken place over the last 20 years. 


“Ireland has a very positive relationship with Chile, and I was honoured to represent the EU, and the Government at the inauguration of President Boric when I travelled there as part of the Saint Patrick’s Day programme in March this year.


“This modernised agreement will look to build on that trade relationship, and it is important that Irish SMEs are provided with the opportunities to take advantage of the benefits of this new agreement.


“In light of wider geo-political issues, including Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine and continuing trade tensions elsewhere, the importance of securing new and improved trade agreements with like-minded partners is vital. As part of that process this modernised agreement will help bolster our pursuit of supply chain diversification; include stronger trade sustainability provisions which will reflect the modern values that EU Member States, including Ireland look to instil in our trade agreements. This includes supporting the green transition, promotion of responsible and sustainable value chains and climate action.”


Minister Calleary welcomed the new approach adopted in the Agreement on tariff quotas for meat products as well as increased protections for Irish geographical indications including Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream, Clare Island Salmon and Imokilly Regato. He stated:



“As part of the network of Free Trade Agreements the EU has with over 70 countries across the globe, Irish SMEs have been able to benefit from increased access, better protections, and greater investment opportunities. Today’s announcement presents a further opportunity for Irish businesses to maximise Ireland’s return on internationally traded goods and services.


“We have a very positive trade relationship with Chile already, trading €136m in goods in 2021 and €546m in services in 2020. From a European context, the EU is Chile’s third largest trade partner, comprising 12% of Chile’s total trade in 2020.


“This modernised agreement provides the agri-food industry with much needed certainty in regard to meat products from Chile entering the EU market. The Agreement places a ceiling on the tariff rate quota for beef to 4,900 tonnes in total and removes the annual incremental ‘top-up’ that was available under the old agreement. In addition, the new Agreement will continue to provide protections to EU wine and spirits, including Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream, from imitation or usurpation and provide new protections to other agri-food products including Clare Island Salmon and Imokilly Regato.”



Note for Editors

The EU and Chile concluded an Association Agreement in 2002 which included a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in February 2003. The EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement is broad and comprehensive and covers all the areas of EU-Chile trade relations and was a "state of the art" FTA at the time, but since then, there have been significant trade policy developments affecting both parties.

At the EU-Chile Association Council on 21 April 2015, the two parties decided to move forward by creating a Joint Working Group to examine the process of updating the existing agreement, including a subgroup on trade to analyse in depth the exploratory process. The scoping exercise (political and trade pillars) was officially concluded at the 14th EU-Chile Association Committee meeting held in Santiago on 31 January 2017.

On the 6th February 2018, the European Commission published 18 text proposals and a negotiation report on the upgrade of the EU-Chile trade accord. The text proposals cover a range of issues from anti-corruption to public procurement and digital trade.

A joint statement on Trade and Sustainable Development was agreed by the EU and Chile on 2 December 2022. The parties are determined to ensure that the modernised agreement fosters sustainability: that economic growth goes together with the protection of decent work, climate and the environment, in full adherence to the parties’ shared values and priorities, including support for green transition and the promotion of responsible and sustainable value chains. The parties have a joint objective of enhancing the inclusive participation of civil society and the joint statement also provides for the initiation of a formal review process of the trade and sustainable development aspects of the agreement. 

The modernisation agreement negotiations were formally concluded in Brussels on 9th December 2022 during the visit of the Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs, Antonia Urrejola.



EU Press Statement

EU-Chile Trade Details