Chile to soon sign revised PTA with India

Chennai: Chile today said it would soon sign a revised Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with India increasing the number of items of export and import to 2000 from the 100 at present.

In 2005, Chile had signed a PTA with India, enabling both import and export of over 100 items. "The latest PTA will give an opportunity to increase the number of products to 2,000 (both ways)," Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Cristian Barros said.

Participating in a CII meeting, he said, "the fourth round of negotiations on increasing the number of items to 1,000 from the present 100 items will be discussed in the first week of February".

The signing of a Double Taxation treaty with Chile and the talks on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Chile are also expected to figure during the meet. Barros called for more tie-ups between the two countries, saying "We can be partners as always..a partner you can trust."

Noting that the geographical location of Chile would not be a problem with India, as Chile`s first trade partner was China, he invited more investment opportunities in various sectors including renewable energy,services and manufacturing, and particularly in mines.

President of the Senate, Republic of Chile, Guido Girardi, on his second visit to Chennai said his Government has decided to consume 20 per cent of power from renewable energy sources, given the potential for renewable energy in his country.

"In the next 20 years, 20 per cent of power consumed in our country will be from renewable energy. It may be from tidal energy (given the longest coastal region) or through thermal energy," he said and invited Indian companies to invest in this sector. .

Girardi said Chile, one of the world`s largest copper producers, needs more energy resources, particularly to double investments in copper. The proposed investments in the mining industry is expected to be USD 40-50 billion (in the coming years) and Chile needs more energy to augment it, he said.

Girardi said his country is rich in lithium and suggested India use Lithium based batteries to power electric vehicles, just as Japan is procuring it from Argentina.

"We want to have know-how and human capital (for lithium). Chile has to react very rapidly in this area since it is becoming more competitive", Senator Pablo Letelier said.

He said two way trade between the two countries is USD two billion and a separate business delegation from Chile were expected to visit India later this year.