New Zealand Embassy Santiago, Chile

New Zealand and Chile

Chile is one of New Zealand's longest standing and closest friends in Latin America. The New Zealand Embassy has been operating in Santiago since 1972. Chile established an Embassy in Wellington the same year.

Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key, visited Chile between 7and 9 of March 2013. The Prime Minister and the Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera, issued a Joint Statement with the purpose of setting out the framework for the relationship between the two countries.
You can find the complete Joint Statement Chile-New Zealand at the bottom of this page.

Trade and economic links

TransPacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP, previously known as ‘P4’) between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore was signed in 2005 and came into force for those countries in 2006. A binding Environment Cooperation Agreement and a binding Labour Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding, which had been negotiated as part of the TPP package, were signed concurrently.

President Obama announced on 14 November that the United States will engage with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries “with the goal of shaping a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement”. While the negotiation will be of wide interest as a route to a more open trade relationship with the US, from a larger perspective its greatest potential is as a pathfinder for wider regional economic integration.

The first round of negotiations to expand the TPP to include the United States, Australia, Peru and Viet Nam took place in June 2010.
The TPP has emerged as having potential as a platform for a regional trade agreement and is expected to expand further in future. The current participants agree on the need to maintain and improve upon the standards and comprehensiveness of the existing Agreement (P4). This is important for the longer-term goal of achieving a high-quality regional agreement.

Business Links

A strategic alliance between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and its Chilean counterpart, CORFO, was signed in November 2006. This has further committed both agencies to promote and facilitate commercial partnerships. Chile has been a central focus in Latin America for New Zealand’s business interests particularly in the agriculture and energy sectors.

New Zealand’s exports to Chile in the year June 2009 were worth NZ$70 million (NZ$76 million the previous year) and imports from Chile were worth NZ$52 million in the year to June 09 (up from NZ$42.37 million in the previous year).

Double Tax Agreement

New Zealand signed a Double Tax Agreement with Chile in 2003 which entered into force in 2006.


A Primary Sector Cooperation Agreement was signed in May 2004. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s pastoral farming project provides additional focus in the agri-tech and food sectors. New Zealand also provides training for farm workers and managers from Chile.

Political and foreign policy links

The two foreign ministries hold regular foreign policy consultations covering a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues.
New Zealand and Chile maintain close contact in a number of multilateral fora on issues such as the law of the sea, nuclear disarmament, Antarctica, human rights, fisheries and agricultural trade. New Zealand and Chile are cosponsors (along with Australia) of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. Chile and New Zealand are cooperating to address greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector as members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

New Zealand was a strong supporter of Chile’s OECD aspirations and warmly welcomed its accession to that organization. New Zealand and Chile share a common belief in economic and trade liberalisation processes in the WTO, and cooperate in the Cairns Group to promote liberalization of agricultural trade. Chile and New Zealand are both active members of the APEC, and as open, outward looking countries in the Asia Pacific region, have a shared vision of economic integration in our region.

Defence Ties

An arrangement on naval cooperation was signed in July 1996 to facilitate exchanges of information between the Chilean Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

People to People Links


An Education Counsellor for Latin America was appointed to work in the New Zealand Embassy in Santiago in July 2007.
A bilateral arrangement on education cooperation was signed on 4 April 2004.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement makes provision for trade in education services between Chile and New Zealand.
A further bilateral scholarships arrangement was signed on 31 July 2008, and makes provision for up to 300 Chilean bicentennial scholarships holders to study in New Zealand per year.

Almost all New Zealand universities and some polytechnics have cooperation agreements in place with counterparts in Chile.

In 2008/9, 525 Chilean students studied in New Zealand, up from 454 in 2007/8.

Research, Science and Technology

In 2002 an agreement on science and technology cooperation was signed between MORST and the Chilean science and technology agency CONICYT.
An arrangement on technical cooperation for biodiversity work was signed in 2002 between Chile’s National Commission on the Environment and New Zealand’s Department of Conservation.
Chilean scientists are members of the LEARN (Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network) and have participated in conferences in New Zealand in 2007 and Uruguay in July 2008.

Cultural Linkages

There are special cultural links between New Zealand Maori and Chile’s indigenous populations, particularly the people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, under Chilean administration).

Plaza Nueva Zelandia was opened in Santiago in November 2009, a gift from the Government of New Zealand to the Government of Chile in the year of Chile’s Bicentenary.

Working Holiday Scheme

A working holiday scheme was introduced in 2001 in order to promote exchanges between young people from both countries (the first agreement of its type for New Zealand with a Latin American country). Under the Working Holiday Scheme, 1,000 young Chileans may visit New Zealand and 200 young New Zealanders may visit Chile for one year on a working holiday. The demand from Chile has been so strong that New Zealand has unilaterally expanded the scheme, which originally provided for 200 places, to allow 1,000 young Chileans to visit New Zealand.


The direct daily air service between Auckland and Santiago (operated by LAN Chile and Qantas) has greatly facilitated travel between the two countries. 

Development assistance

The New Zealand Embassy in Santiago operates a Head of Mission Fund to support small scale and grassroots development assistance projects. The New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) offers up to two New Zealand Development Scholarships each year to Chileans.

New Zealand’s Latin America Development Programme includes Chile. It focuses on sustainable rural livelihoods and governance. In addition to several smaller projects, it is supporting a multi-year project to strengthen the capability of indigenous Huilliche (Mapuche) communities in southern Chile to participate in local development processes and improve their livelihoods through tourism. This project won a President’s bicentennial award in December 2007. 

File Chile Joint Statement PM Visit March 2013 7 03 13.docx

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