A History of Australia-Chile Bilateral Relation

Jul 05, 2019

Australia and Chile share an impressive foreign relation, with a focus on strengthening both regions trade and working together with their same perspective on different international issues.

Because of their free trade, signed back in 2009, both countries opened doors for its people to seek new markets and create new opportunities. The Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (ACIFTA) have designed a commitment that increased both country's interaction, with Australian businesses collaborating with Chileans and successfully operating in Chile. It also helped the nations’ research and education, creating cooperation that will benefit its people.

Like all foreign affairs, Australia-Chile relation is molded with history. Each country has its own moments that led them to their current economic standing, opening up to free trade and developing more ways to impose growth. And their history didn’t instantly present itself as a step for this remarkable bilateral relation.

Before, with stereotypes about their culture, Latin America was perceived as a region that doesn’t do business, with the long-prevailing misconception that it’s constraining itself from cross-pacific cooperation. Even so, Chile attempted to series of trade, but the country’s instability during the 20th century had its effects.

Aside from this notion, there were also other factors that hindered the bloom of its free trade. One of the apparent reasons was the geographic distance, contributing to both region’s difference in terms of geopolitical alliances. This limited the regions export and import exchange. Part of Chile’s history that intensified this global notion about Latin America is the end of the Allende government, overthrew by a military coup back in 1973. Because of this, Latin America’s image was damaged from the eyes of the global community, seen as a region that is too remote and corrupt and unable for diplomatic and trade relations.

Fast forward to the 1990s era, Australia voiced out about this perception about Latin America, then started rebuilding its relationship with its nations. In 2001, the Council on Australia Latin America Relations was established. And slowly, the ignorance about what Latin America’s trade and diplomacy is renewed, making way to the signing of Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (ACIFTA) in 2009.

Now, Australia and Chile benefit fruitfully from their established relation, in terms of trade, business, culture, education, and tourism. Back in 2017, there were 23,500 Chilean tourists that visited Australia that helped the country’s already booming tourism. There is also an influx of Chilean students who are expanding their education in Australia. Because of these engagements, different aspects of both countries’ economy has continuously experienced growth. And apparently, as Australia and Chile work and develops more actions, the future for both will be even brighter.


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