A free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and Chile received ratification of both the Chilean Chamber of Deputies and Senate on Mar. 14, just five days prior to the visit of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to Asia and Vietnam .

After being submitted by the Chilean Government for immediate discussion, the FTA gained approval from the Chilean Parliament and other related agencies, after two days of discussion from Mar. 13.

Chilean Senator Jose Garcia Ruminot said the adoption of the FTA would be a benchmark for trade relations between Vietnam and Chile , while strengthening Chile ’s trade integration strategy in Asia .

Ruminot said once effective, the FTA will help Chile export products such as pork, fruit and fruit juice to Vietnam with a preferential tax rate. On the other hand, Vietnam will benefit from a low tax rate when it exports footwear, textiles, rice and coffee products to Chile .

The Senator expressed his belief that each country can act as a bridge for potential linkages to each other’s regional markets.

Two-way trade in 2011 was valued at nearly 475 million USD, rising from 18.81 million USD in 2001.

Vietnam ’s total exports to Chile reached 137.5 million USD last year while its imports from the South American country were worth more than 335.7 million USD.

The Vietnam-Chile FTA was signed in the US state of Honolulu under the witness of President Truong Tan Sang and his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera on the occasion the two leaders participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2011).

The Chilean President will visit Vietnam , the Republic of Korea and Japan from Mar. 20-31.-VNA