New Zealand Embassy Santiago, Chile

Joint statement between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand

Minister Murray McCully and Minister Alfredo Moreno signing the arrangement improving the Chile-NZ Working Holiday Scheme. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile

The Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Alfredo Moreno, and the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully, met on 11 August 2010 in Santiago during Minister McCully’s visit to Chile 10 – 11 August.

Minister Moreno welcomed the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and thanked him for his visit to his country, a testimony of the excellent bilateral relationship and the valuable cooperation and exchange between Chile and New Zealand, which benefited both countries.
Minister McCully thanked Minister Moreno for the hospitality offered during his visit to Chile and stressed the value that New Zealand placed on its relationship with Chile. It was vibrant and contemporary, he said, built on a solid platform of longstanding political, social and economic links.

Minister McCully reiterated New Zealand’s sympathy for the people of Chile following the devastating earthquake of 27 February. The New Zealand Government had made a NZ $500,000 contribution to the immediate relief effort and New Zealand businesses and educational institutes operating in Chile had also made contributions. During his visit, Minister McCully announced a further NZ$1 million contribution, dedicated to rebuilding schools.

In response, Minister Moreno thanked New Zealand for its solidarity and generous cooperation, emphasising this new gesture. He took the opportunity to renew to Minister McCully the invitation, already extended by President Piñera to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Washington last April, for New Zealand companies to bid for reconstruction work in the affected areas of Chile.

Both Ministers commented that the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (P4) had provided a strong framework for building the economic relationship. There was growing New Zealand investment in Chile, as well as cooperation in research and training, particularly in the agriculture and energy sectors. Minister McCully emphasised that New Zealand businesses and entrepreneurs were interested in establishing long term mutually beneficial commercial partnerships in Chile. Ministers noted the importance of promoting strategic partnership opportunities under the Agreement.

Ministers also noted the positive cooperation on shared environmental challenges under the P4 Environment Cooperation Agreement, including renewable energy, climate change and eco-tourism.

Ministers highlighted the value that both countries placed on strengthening education links and acknowledged that New Zealand’s education experience was relevant to Chile's human capital and education objectives. The Arrangement between the Government of the Republic of Chile and the Government of New Zealand on Human Capital Development Scholarships provided the framework for encouraging further cooperation and student exchanges. There were already positive links between Chilean and New Zealand universities, research institutes and institutes of technology and polytechnics, but there was scope to maximise this potential.

The Ministers commented on the success of the Working Holiday Scheme between New Zealand and Chile in strengthening ties between the future leaders of both countries. The Ministers signed an Arrangement to improve the scheme:

  • extending the eligible age group from 18 – 30 to 18 - 35 years for both Chileans and New Zealanders;
  • enabling Chileans to spend up to six months working for one employer in New Zealand (currently three months);
  • enabling Chileans to spend up to six months studying in New Zealand (up from three months).

Both Ministers commented on New Zealand and Chile’s shared commitment to promoting economic growth and integration in the Asia-Pacific region, and that the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiation had the potential to provide a platform for a 21st century regional trade agreement. The Ministers also stressed that Chile and New Zealand should continue to work together in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations to maximize benefits for both economies and accelerate moves towards free trade in the Asia Pacific region.

As neighbours in the South Pacific with many natural similarities, Ministers stressed the benefit of cooperating to address environmental and resource management issues of mutual interest. Ministers were pleased with their respective countries’ early signature of the Agreement to establish a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, which New Zealand, Chile and Australia had cosponsored. Ministers agreed that the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases was an important tool to help combat climate change. Finally, they also emphasised New Zealand and Chile’s shared interests in whale conservation, and constructive cooperation on Antarctic issues.

Minister McCully and Minister Moreno concluded that New Zealand and Chile have a strong and dynamic partnership and expressed their shared commitment to further strengthening the relationship, including on economic, education and environmental issues, to promote growth and innovation in both countries.  

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