The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

13 September 2012

Australian and Chile joint statement

His Excellency, Sebastian Piñera, President of Chile, visited Australia from 10-11 September 2012 at the invitation of Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia. During the visit, President Piñera met the Hon Wayne Swan MP, Acting Prime Minister of Australia. He also met parliament and business leaders.

Acting Prime Minister Swan and President Piñera expressed satisfaction with Australia and Chile's close and strengthening bilateral relationship based on shared values and principles of democracy, human rights, rule of law, cultural diversity, open competitive markets and a commitment to multilateral institutions.

Acting Prime Minister Swan warmly welcomed Chile's increasing focus on the Asia-Pacific region, including its chairmanship of the Pacific Alliance and of CELAC, and active role in promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both sides agreed the successful outcome of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, particularly liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and agreement to enhanced mobility of students, researchers and education providers, would further strengthen economic opportunities in the region. Both governments reiterated their commitment to combating protectionism and to encouraging open markets with appropriate regulatory and fiscal frameworks, and acknowledged Australia and Chile's participation in the Cairns Group since 1986.

Acting Prime Minister Swan said that Australia will join the G20 Troika from the end of 2012. As part of its host year, Australia will engage with G20 members and non-G20 countries, to ensure the G20 agenda is responsive to emerging global economic priorities. Acting Prime Minister Swan welcomed Chile's valuable contribution as a guest of Mexico as the G20 Chair during 2012 and said that Australia will continue to discuss G20 priorities with Chile in forthcoming international forums.

Both sides noted the significant increase in two-way trade since the Australia-Chile FTA was implemented in 2009, and that there had been a considerable increase in the number of Australian companies operating in Chile. President Piñera said Australia was one of the largest direct investors in the Chilean mining sector and the sixth largest investor in Chile overall. He also committed to ratify the Australia-Chile tax treaty, signed in 2010, to further enhance bilateral economic relations.

To enhance closer cooperation, MOUs on mining, development cooperation programs in third countries and biosecurity initiatives were signed during the visit. The governments welcomed the increase in direct air services between the two countries, including their role in enhancing people-to-people and regional linkages.

Both sides also discussed education reform and welcomed the strong education links between Australia and Chile. Acting Prime Minister Swan was delighted with Chile's decision to model its new industry-led skills councils on Australia's.

President Piñera reiterated Chile's support for Australia's campaign for a non-permanent UN Security Council seat from 2013 to 2014. Acting Prime Minister Swan reiterated Australia's support for Chile's 2014-15 UN Security Council candidacy.

Acting Prime Minister Swan acknowledged the strong contribution to Australia made by the 23,000 strong Chilean-born community in Australia. During his visit, President Piñera dedicated the Phoenix Capsule II, recalling the 2010 rescue of 33 miners in Copiapo, and underscoring the cooperation between the two countries in helping to make the rescue possible.

The governments emphasised their commitment to addressing the Millennium Development Goals and the need for comprehensive effort to address food security in the 21st century.

The governments affirmed their strong commitment to global peace and security. As leading contributors to peacekeeping activities, the Chilean and Australian defence forces operated together in support of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.

Both sides welcomed the decision to expand bilateral political talks to include defence issues. Acting Prime Minister Swan said Australia looked forward to increasing its defence ties with Chile through defence exchanges and exports.

Both governments confirmed their commitment to preservation of the world's oceans and fish stocks. They were pleased with the entry into force of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation which they have worked together on over recent years.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to end the killing of whales for commercial, including so-called 'scientific', purposes and their commitment to foster closer environmental cooperation and to preserve the unique Antarctic environment while facilitating international collaboration on science and research.