Chile is now moving to encourage Vietnamese businesses to invest and explore the consumption trend in the Latin American country, Vietnam ’s trade mission in Chile said.

In return, an increasing number of Chilean investors are eagerly seeking business opportunities in Vietnam , especially in mining, oil exploitation, seafood and fruit processing, and wine production.

The Chilean business community has considered Vietnam a potential market as Vietnam officially joined in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the mission said, adding that Chile has recognised the Southeast Asian country’s market economy since 2009.

According to the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, bilateral economic and trade ties are growing fruitfully. Vietnam is now the 42 nd largest trade partner and the 50 th biggest importer of Chile .

In 2009, Vietnam ’s export turnover to Chile reached almost 115 million USD and imported around 125 million USD worth of products from the South American country. The respective figures in the first seven months of 2010 were 49.9 million USD and 166.1 million USD.

Chile mainly exported copper ore, fir wood, cod-lover oil, pulp and wine to Vietnam , while importing coffee, sport shoes, garments and rice.

Experts said Vietnamese businesses will have more opportunities to access third markets in South America if they establish partnerships with Chilean counterparts.

They will also enjoy tax incentives offered by free trade agreements (FTA) signed between Chile and other nations when join hands with local firms to produce goods for export.

On the other hand, through Vietnamese partners, Chilean companies will also have chances to cooperate with businesses in other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The department said the Vietnamese and Chilean governments are speeding up negotiations on a bilateral FTA to create more favourable conditions and remove obstacles for businesses from both countries./.