One of Chile’s most significant international business partners is Germany, the Latin American country’s leading trade partner within the European Union. German chancellor Angela Merkel has declared her interest in further strengthening the European country’s ties with Latin American.
|“Many of us maintain our German customs and there are scholarships to study in Germany.”|
Jorge O’Ryan Schütz, Chile’s Ambassador to Germany
“Germany and Chile historically have very
Guido Westerwelle, German Foreign Minister
"Chile has big value for German industry,” explains Cornelia Sonnenberg, General Manager of the Chilean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an organisation committed to promoting trade ties between the two countries. “It is a very transparent, secure and calculable market. The reason for its growth is that the government is committed to increasing productivity.”
Because of its stable market, German direct investment in Chile has been steadily increasing, especially within the agricultural industry, mineral mining and the property section. In 2009, the European country was estimated to have invested more than $1.8 billion in Chile. German companies have also recently experienced great success with various infrastructure projects.
Aside from investment, trade is also an important component of the two countries’ relationship. Chile exports primarily copper, produce, wood and chemical products to Germany with its exports to the European country rising by 38 per cent from January to July 2011. Germany also exports a significant amount to Chile – increasing 44 per cent over the same period – including aircraft, ships, rail vehicles and electrical goods.
Although the economic links are strong between the countries, Germany and Chile also have deep cultural and social ties due to an influx of German immigrants to the Latin American country, starting in the 1850s until roughly 1914. Today a total of 9 million Chileans claim German decent.
“Many of us maintain our German customs,” remarks the Chilean Ambassador to Germany, Jorge O’Ryan Schütz, highlighting the 15,000 pupils attending the country’s 21 Germanic schools. The two countries’ institutions of higher education also share close ties, with cooperation agreements expanding from 10 to over 116 between universities. The European country has also recently signed accords with Chilean partners including the Ministry of Education supporting co-funding for scholarships to enable Chilean postgraduates to study in Germany.
Furthermore, the two countries share common interest in global issues such as arms control, the strengthening of the United Nations and renewable energy.