Santiago, Oct 5 (EFE).- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said here Wednesday that plans are in the works to further strengthen trade and investment ties with longstanding ally Chile.
The United States’ top diplomat, who is on a tour this week of leftist-led South American countries, also hailed the leadership Chile has shown in the fight against climate change and its efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The trade and investment relationship is already robust, Blinken said at a joint press conference in Santiago with Chilean counterpart Antonia Urrejola, though adding that the US is convinced it can be further expanded and strengthened.
The US secretary of state made those remarks when asked how Chile’s efforts to draft a new progressive constitution – a document overwhelmingly rejected by voters in a Sept. 4 referendum – might affect investment in the country.
Blinken avoided commenting on the domestic political situation, saying the country’s future course is for Chileans to decide.
However, he stressed that there are enormous business and investment opportunities stemming from Chile’s leadership in tackling the climate crisis.
“We’re looking at ways to increase US investment,” the secretary of state said.
He explained that the Andean nation “is very well positioned” to create green economy jobs in the areas of renewable energy and sustainable development technology.
And he pledged that investments would be channeled through regional development banks.
In that regard, Chile’s foreign minister said her government is working very hard to attract investment from all over the world and gave the example of President Gabriel Boric’s recent visits to Canada and the US.
Urrejola said several countries have shown an interest in making clean energy investment in Chile and improving production chains, adding that she expects her country will finalize a trade agreement with the European Union in the near future.
“We have a very open agenda in terms of investment and we’re very much on track,” she said.
The press conference took place after Blinken met with Boric at Santiago’s La Moneda presidential palace.
Boric said on social media that he and the US secretary of state had a constructive discussion about issues including the climate crisis and sustainable development.
“We had a very good conversation with Secretary Blinken about the strengthening of democratic institutions, sustainable development and trade, as well as the more ambitious efforts to confront the climate crisis. We’ll keep working for the region’s development,” Boric wrote on Twitter.
Blinken, who met with recently inaugurated leftist President Gustavo Petro during a visit earlier this week to Colombia, will travel Thursday to Lima to lead the US delegation at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. EFE