The visit by the President of the Republic of Chile to Berlin on 10 October gave Germany and Chile occasion to underscore the excellent health of their bilateral relations. The two countries noted the many fora in which dialogue is pursued and drew attention to a bilateral agenda focussing on the fields of energy, education, science and technology, innovation, defence and environmental protection, as well as to the number of high level visits in both directions.
All of this activity testifies to a shared belief in democracy, respect for human rights and free trade, which forms the basis for deepening and enhancing the countries’ sound and stable ties.
Chile and Germany are united as regards the importance of the multilateral system and also agree on common principles regarding full adherence to international law, the inviolability of contracts, the equality of states, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the self determination of peoples. Both countries consider the Security Council to be indispensable for the maintenance of peace and international security, since it was established for precisely that purpose.
The following can be stated with regard to the specific issues discussed during President Piñera’s visit:
Both sides affirmed that human rights constitute a fundamental principle guiding their political actions. The two states reaffirmed their support for the work of the Joint Commission on the former Colonia Dignidad, established in accordance with the declaration of intent signed in Berlin in July 2017. Both sides expressed their hope that the Commission will be able to make effective progress on the tasks assigned to it, especially with regard to preserving the memory of what happened on the site.
Chile and Germany are working together intensively in the energy sector, as demonstrated by a range of initiatives which underscore the countries’ special interest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and associated technologies. The two sides pronounced themselves in favour of improving solar technology and smart grids, and exchanged experience with regard to their transmission and distribution networks. In view of the intense exchange on these issues over the past years, it seems likely that negotiations on the establishment of an energy partnership between Chile and Germany could begin sometime in 2019.
The two countries were of one accord as regards climate change, as evinced by their clear support for the Paris Agreement, the forthcoming climate conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, and the Petersberg Dialogue. The Chilean side stressed the key role that Germany had played in nurturing this annual event to discuss climate change. The two countries have set themselves significant targets in order to fulfil the international obligations assumed in this field.
As regards education and science and technology, the two countries drew attention to the cooperation already undertaken in these fields. They noted that fresh impetus would be provided when the Chilean German Joint Committee for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation met for its fifth session on 22 November 2018 in Bonn. This committee reviews cooperation between German and Chilean institutions.
Closer cooperation was also agreed on in the field of culture. The two countries signed a co production agreement to facilitate access to funding for co produced films and to increase the number of co productions.
As regards business and trade, the two sides reiterated their joint interest in strengthening and diversifying their bilateral economic and trade relations on the basis of transparent market rules and internationally accepted standards. At the same time, Chile and Germany reaffirmed their commitment to promoting industrial cooperation, companies and innovation, in order to better integrate and internationalise small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Germany and Chile articulated their clear and resolute support of free trade and the multilateral system of trade and expressed their concern about the protectionist tendencies to be observed in this field.
This visit provided the opportunity to launch an exchange of information on the subject of the ageing of the population. In view of the experience Germany already has on this topic, and the demographic change under way in Chile, there is considerable potential for bilateral cooperation on this issue between the countries in the future.
The two countries underscored their intention to improve cyber security by means of future international cooperation mechanisms, which will support the creation of national and international capabilities.
In their analysis of Latin America, the two countries agreed that Venezuela finds itself in a precarious situation and expressed their intention to support all efforts to restore democracy in the country in an orderly fashion by peaceful means. As a member of the Lima Group, Chile will continue to support actions and initiatives in numerous multilateral areas which will contribute to this goal.
The two sides are observing the grave socio political crisis and the increasing stigmatisation of those involved in the peaceful protests in Nicaragua with great concern and call for an end to the violence and respect for human rights.
In connection with the European Union, the two sides considered the desire to make progress on modernising the Association Agreement between Chile and the European Union as a sign of the strength and renewal of political, economic and trade relations. Chile thanked Germany for supporting steps to reach this goal. Both sides recalled that the EU Chile Agreement, which celebrated 15 years in force last February, was a milestone in Chile’s strategy of international integration.
The Republic of Chile and the Federal Republic of Germany signed the following instruments during the President’s visit:
•Film co production agreement
•Declaration of intent on cooperation in the field of energy
•Declaration of intent on cooperation on further training for Chilean business people