Chile President Piñera undertakes state Visit to New Zealand on Nov 19
President Piñera was welcomed at Government House in Auckland by the Governor-General, the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, engaged with business representatives with commercial interests in Chile, and had a warm and wide-ranging discussion with Prime Minister Ardern.
At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018.
President Piñera was welcomed at Government House in Auckland by the Governor-General, the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, engaged with business representatives with commercial interests in Chile, and had a warm and wide-ranging discussion with Prime Minister Ardern. President Piñera and Prime Minister Ardern discussed a range of issues across the bilateral, regional and multilateral agendas, highlighting the high level of alignment and common interests between the two countries.
Shared values and people-to-people links across the Pacific Ocean underpin the strong bilateral relationship between Chile and New Zealand. The two Leaders acknowledged the strength of the ties and agreed there was great potential for further growth in the relationship.
They acknowledged their countries' roles as founding members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership ("P4"), which later served as a platform for the establishment of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). They welcomed New Zealand's ratification of the CPTPP, as well as the progress towards ratification made by Chile, noting the opportunities to further expand trade links. The Leaders expressed their strong desire for New Zealand to become an Associated State of the Pacific Alliance, including through the successful completion of a high quality and comprehensive trade agreement.
The leaders discussed the APEC Leaders' Summit, held this weekend in Papua New Guinea, and acknowledged the importance of close collaboration between both countries on the breadth of APEC's agenda. Leaders also discussed the lead up to the host years by Chile in 2019, and New Zealand in 2021, as well as the search for concrete results that would advance the progressive, inclusive and sustainable benefits to the Asia Pacific wider population. It was agreed that officials would continue to collaborate on areas of shared interest by exchanging information, generating ideas and sharing experiences in order to build capability and expertise. President Piñera extended a warm invitation to Prime Minister Ardern to attend the next APEC Leaders' Summit in Santiago in 2019. Additionally, Chile thanked New Zealand for sending an official to work in the Executive Secretariat of APEC Chile 2019.
The Leaders agreed on the importance of building and protecting a safe and prosperous Asia-Pacific region, with respect for the rule of law. Likewise, they reaffirmed their joint commitment to sustainable development and to working cooperatively in support of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Declaration on Progressive and Inclusive Trade signed by Chile, New Zealand and Canada in March this year. They committed to continue developing inclusive trade policies, to ensure that the benefits of trade and investment reach all citizens. It was noted that progress is needed to lift the number of women engaged in international trade, help small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from opportunities offered by trade agreements and global value chains, and maintain our commitments to protect the environment.
New Zealand and Chile share a common commitment to the development of their respective indigenous peoples. Recognising the special connection between Māori and Chile's Mapuche peoples and the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, indigenous cooperation has been identified as an important area for future bilateral collaboration. Government officials from both governments are in active discussions on specific areas for future collaboration, particularly how we can facilitate stronger economic and trade relationships as a basis for our indigenous peoples' future prosperity.
The importance of a strong, modern, rules-based multilateral trading system was acknowledged. The Leaders shared their concerns on the rising level of protectionist tendencies, the enforcement of unilateral measures, and the current impasse regarding appointments to the WTO's Appellate Body. They noted their countries' actions in pursuing constructive solutions that seek to defend, strengthen and modernise the WTO and its rules. Chile commended New Zealand's proposal which reaffirms the preference for multilateral approaches to carry out trade negotiations and puts forward principles for more flexible mechanisms such as open plurilateral arrangements.
The Leaders shared their concerns on climate change, noting the need to take urgent action. They undertook to work together during the upcoming COP24 in December in Poland, in order to achieve an ambitious outcome that includes clear rules and procedures for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Chile and New Zealand share a common interest in collaborating to develop better climate policies, including carbon pricing mechanisms and developing national legal frameworks that address the specific needs of each country.
New Zealand welcomed Chile's deepening focus on the Pacific Islands region and acknowledged its interest in the Pacific Islands Forum. New Zealand and Chile look forward to sharing information on their respective Pacific engagements and perspectives, noting their mutual interest in Pacific prosperity and security.
In a demonstration of the two countries' ongoing commitment to work together, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the following instruments:
The arrangement between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Republic of Chile relating to cooperation on Non-Tariff Barriers;
Joint Declaration between the Government of the Republic of Chile and the Government of New Zealand on Antarctic Cooperation; and
The arrangement between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the Republic of Chile on Cooperation in the Field of Seabird Conservation.
The President of the Republic of Chile expressed gratitude for the warm welcome extended by the Governor General, the Prime Minister and Government, and the people of New Zealand.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)