South Africa, Chile eye increased trade


9 July 2012

Cooperation in trade and investment and the avoidance of double taxation formed part of discussions at the fourth Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) meeting between South Africa and Chile on Friday.

The meeting was co-chaired by International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim and his Chilean counterpart, Fernando Schmidt, in Pretoria.

“South Africa and Chile have agreed and finalised two instruments, namely the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Joint Trade and Investment Commission,” the two countries said in a joint communique following the meeting.

South Africa remains one of the largest foreign investors in Chile’s mining sector.

However, the trade balance between South Africa and Chile is currently in favour of Chile. The establishment of a Joint Bilateral Trade and Investment Commission would help to address this.

Exports to Chile include minerals, chemical fertilisers, sulphate, insecticides and fruit. Imports from the South American country include chemicals.

The meeting additionally discussed a number of other areas, including the possibility of a dialogue regarding a preferential trade agreement subject to concurrence with the Southern African Customs Union, science and technology, and academic exchanges in the tertiary education sector.

It was decided to explore possibilities of further academic collaboration between Chile and South Africa.

The previous JCM meeting between Chile and South Africa took place in Chile in 2008.

Following the devastating earthquake in Chile in February 2010, the South African government donated R500 000 in relief aid, which was routed through the Chilean Red Cross.