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Germany and Chile stand for free trade Chile

Foreign Minister Maas with his Chilean counterpart

Foreign Minister Maas with his Chilean counterpart, © Inga Kjer/photothek.net

18.07.2018 - Article

During his Chilean counterpart Roberto Ampuero’s visit to Berlin, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas underlined Germany and Chile’s shared views on trade and energy issues and praised Chile’s role in the region.

Speaking at their joint press conference, Maas emphasised the potential for deeper cooperation. “Chile is an anchor of stability in the region,” he said. “There is broad consensus between us on many areas, such as trade policy.

Both Chile and Germany are highly focused on foreign trade. Our countries stand for free trade in particular. At a time when there is much talk about protectionism, we can show how things should work in this area.

That was why, Maas added, work was underway to modernise the current Association Agreement between the EU and Chile.

Energy reforms and dual system of vocational training

Heiko Maas met his Chilean counterpart Roberto Ampuero in Berlin
Heiko Maas met his Chilean counterpart Roberto Ampuero in Berlin© Inga Kjer/photothek.net

As regards the shift to green energy, Chile had “set itself very ambitious goals for promoting renewable energies. We were very impressed by that,” Maas said. He believes that the experience Germany has acquired in transforming its own energy system could be of particular importance for economic cooperation with Chile in the future.

Germany and Chile work closely and intensively together on the dual system of vocational training, both via bilateral cooperation agreements and under the auspices of the Pacific Alliance. “The dual system of vocational training is very successful, so we both want to expand our cooperation in this field quickly,” Maas said.

Colonia Dignidad

With regard to Colonia Dignidad, the German Foreign Minister underlined that he and his Chilean counterpart were in agreement that the past must be addressed with determination. This was owed to the Chilean and German victims. At the next meeting of the Joint Commission in Chile on 22 August, there would be an opportunity to make concrete progress step by step, for example on the question of the documentation centre, Maas said. He added that work would continue with the German Bundestag on a concept to help the victims of Colonia Dignidad. Maas emphasised the hope that this concept would achieve what both sides regard as right and necessary when it is put into practice.

Chile's role in Venezuela and Nicaragua

The German Foreign Minister praised Chile’s role in the region. “We are extremely concerned about developments in Venezuela. Things cannot go on this way,” Maas said. Germany was impressed that Chile has taken in a large number of refugees from Venezuela. Chile’s role in the Lima Group, which strives to foster peace and democracy in Venezuela, was also particularly valuable. Commenting on the current situation in Nicaragua, Maas said: “A ceasefire is essential. Such a high number of fatalities in just a few weeks is unacceptable. We welcome the fact that the Catholic Church has offered to act as a mediator.” It was vital to prevent these conflicts from being exported from the countries to other parts of the region and from leading to further uncertainties, Maas said. “We will support the Chilean Government in its endeavours in any way we can.”

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