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Bilateral Brief




Chile has a Presidential form of Government. The Head of State and Head of Government is President Dr. Michelle Bachelet Jeria (since 11 March 2014). Elections are due every 4 years. A President cannot run for office for two consecutive terms. Chile has a bicameral Parliament. The Senate has 38 Senators, with 8 year term (one half elected by popular vote every four years). The Chamber of Deputies has 120 MPs with a four year term. . In the Lower House, the ruling coalition (Nueva Mayoria) has 67 seats, whereas the opposition coalition (Alianza por Chile) currently has 49. The Senate, on the other hand, has 21 Senators from the Nueva Mayoria, 15 from the Alianza and 2 Independents.


Bilateral Relationship


India and Chile enjoy friendly and cooperative relations. Chile shares India’s views on a number of international issues, especially of developmental concern. Chile shares India’s concerns over the threat of international terrorism, and has regularly condemned the acts of cross border terrorism that India has suffered. Chilean Parliament strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament. Chile also strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.


Chile and India have similar views on expansion and reforms of UNSC. Chile has articulated its support for India’s claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC in a Joint Statement issued at the conclusion of the Official visit of Chile’s Foreign Minister to India in April 2003 and Chile has continued to express this stand in India’s favour regularly, since then.




Important visits like Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi (1968), President Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma (1995) and President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil (2008) from India have taken place. Likewise, Presidents of Chile Mr. Ricardo Lagos Escobar (2005) and Dr. Michelle Bachelet Jeria (2009) have also visited India.


Many Ministerial visits have also been exchanged. Recent visits from India include those of Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, MOS (Commerce and Industry) (September 2010), Mr. Dinsha J. Patel, MOS for Mines (April 2011), Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India (July 2011), Smt. Meira Kumar, Hon’ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha (January 2012), Shri Sachin Pilot, MOS(C&IT) (April 2012), Shri Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister (February 2013), Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy (September 2013) and Shri J D Seelam, MOS (Revenue) (Mach 2014). In addition, Defence Chiefs from all three Services from both sides have also visited each other’s countries.


High Level and Ministerial visits from Chile


High level visits from Chile to India were: (a) President Ricardo Lagos Escobar (2005), and (b) President Dr. Michelle Bachelet (2009). Later, Dr. Bachelet had visited India in October 2012 as the Head of the UN Women.


Ministerial visits from Chile to India include: (a) Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Charme (represented Chile as the pro-tempore President of CELAC at the First India-CELAC Troika Meeting and also for bilateral talks with relevant Indian authorities (August 2012), and (b) Minister of Agriculture Luis Mayol (June 2013).





During the State Visit of Hon’ble President of India to Chile in April 2008, four Agreements/MoUs, viz. Sports, S&T, Air Services and Antarctica, were signed. Immediately, after a week, the 5th Agreement on Agriculture was also signed.


During the State visit of Chilean President in March 2009, four more Agreements/MoUs, viz. MOU on cooperation in the field of New and Renewable Energy; Exchange Programme on cooperation in the field of Education; Agreement on Cooperation in the Exploration and utilization of outer Space for peaceful purposes and MOU on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral resources, were signed.


Preferential Trade Agreement


A Framework Agreement to Promote Economic Cooperation between India and Chile was signed on January 20, 2005. The Framework Agreement envisaged a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries as a first step. As a follow up to the Framework Agreement, a PTA was finalized after four rounds of negotiations between the two sides. The PTA has two Annexes relating to the list of products on which the two sides have agreed to give fixed tariff preferences to each other and three Annexes relating to the Rules of Origin, Preferential Safeguard Measures and Dispute Settlement Procedures. The PTA came into force with effect from 17th August, 2007 in Chile and in India on 11th September 2007.


Four rounds of negotiations have already taken place between India and Chile on the expansion of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far on the process of the expansion of the PTA and viewed with optimism the prospects and need for completing the PTA expansion quickly and working towards enhancing the relationship through a more Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).


India Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme


ITEC has been re-introduced in respect of Chile from 2005. Under this, India has gifted a computer laboratory at a cost of US$30,000 to the Republic of India School in Santiago. The Mission started with 4 ITEC scholarships in 2005 which has now gone up to 35 for 2014-15.


Trade and Economic Relations


Bilateral trade has grown substantially to reach record levels each way. Chilean exports to India had grown steadily from 2009 to 2012. Indian exports to Chile have also grown by 36.9%, 22.6% and 40.9% respectively over the same period. In 2012, Indo-Chilean bilateral trade was US$ 3.29 billion. During the year 2013, bilateral trade reduced to US$ 2.876 billion. Following table gives the trade between India and Chile in million US Dollars during the last 5 years:



Exports from India (CIF)

Imports by India (FOB)

Total trade























The above bilateral trade figures do not include India’s exports to the Free Trade Zone of Iquique, which amounted to US$ 39.2 million in 2010, US$ 42.9 million in 2011, US$ 60.8 million in 2012, and US$ 45.4 million in 2013; and India’s service exports, which too amount to some US$ 20 million. Six percent of the companies working in Zofri Zone in Iquique are of Indian origin.


High value-added Indian items such as commercial vehicles (TELCO, MAHINDRA), motor cars (Tata Motors, Suzuki Maruti, Hyundai), two wheelers, and bulk pharmaceuticals have entered the Chilean market. Other traditional items being imported by Chile are garments, handicrafts, textiles, carpets, and hand tools. India’s imports from Chile are predominantly copper, iodine, chemical wood pulp, molybdenum concentrates, and fresh apples.


Visits of Indian Business Delegations


Recent Indian business delegations that visited Chile were: (a) PHARMEXCIL delegation (March 2012), (b) Apparels Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) (March 2012, March 2013 and March 2014), (c) Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) (November 2013), (d) Sports Goods Export Promotion Council delegation (SGEPC) (November 2013), and (e) Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council of India (ESC) (March 2014).



Indian Community



Chile has around 2000 people of Indian origin as well as NRIs, living here. About 60% of them have obtained Chilean nationality. One third of them live in the northern free port of Iquique and the rest are in Santiago and Punta Arenas. Their main occupation is trading. The number of professionals and expatriates working in sectors such as ICT, including BPO and KPO, has been increasing of late. The Indian community has been here since 1902 and has no problems with the locals.



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