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UK hopes to improve ties with Pacific Alliance through Chile

Staff Writer |
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson announced Wednesday that he was hoping to forge closer ties with the Pacific Alliance through trade with Chile.

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Speaking to the press during an official visit to Chile's capital city Santiago, he said that free trade was a way to bring both sides together.

The secretary also expressed his desire to begin talks with Chile about a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a kind of agreement that involves cooperation between countries to reduce trade barriers as well as to increase trade of goods and services with each other.

Chile has an active FTA with the European Union (EU) in force since 2005, and Britain will begin negotiations with Chile for a separate agreement when Brexit is completed.

Chile's Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero said that once the withdrawal of the Britain from the EU materialized, "we wish to deepen our political dialogue ... to maintain, preserve and improve the conditions we have with the EU while preserving and improving those" with Britain.

The chief Chilean diplomat said that both countries were partners on free trade and that has allowed both sides to reach a new "level of prosperity and progress."

"We have spoken about the importance of the Pacific Alliance as a very successful economic actor in Latin America. We have invited Britain to deepen its ties with the Pacific Alliance, utilizing Chile as an ideal bridge to grow closer... to Latin America," said the Chilean official.

Founded in 2011, the Pacific Alliance is a Latin American trade bloc that gathers Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia. The bloc accounts for about 37 percent of Latin America's gross domestic product.

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