April 2024 \ Interviews \ DIPLOMATIC INTERVIEW
“Relations between India and Chile are currently at their strongest”

H.E. Mr. Juan Angulo M., Ambassador of Chile to India responds to Diplomatic and Business Editor Yogesh Sood on wide-ranging topics.

By Yogesh Sood

Excellency, would you say that relations between India and Chile have never been stronger than at present?

I would certainly affirm that the relations between India and Chile are currently at their strongest. Over recent years, both countries have displayed a deep commitment to fostering a robust partnership, marked by high-level visits at Ministerial level and an increasing exchange of trade and investment. The strengthening of diplomatic ties has further solidified the bond between our two nations, paving the way for enhanced collaboration in various fields.

The present state of relations between India and Chile reflects a shared vision for mutual prosperity and development. Both countries have been proactive in identifying areas of common interest and leveraging each other’s strengths to drive economic growth and innovation. This has led to a palpable sense of enthusiasm and optimism regarding the future of our bilateral relationship.

The current trajectory of India-Chile relations underscores a dynamic and multifaceted partnership that encompasses not only economic and political dimensions but also cultural and people-to-people ties. The increasing cultural exchanges and growing interest in each other’s heritage serve as a testament to the deepening bond between our nations, laying a strong foundation for an even more prosperous and enduring partnership in the years to come.

Let us know about some of the high-level visits between our two nations in recent times?

In recent times, there have been several high-level visits between India and Chile that underscore the deepening bilateral relations. President Ram Nath Kovind’s state visit to Chile in April 2019 significantly cemented India’s ties with Chile. During his visit, President Kovind met with President Sebastián Piñera, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of India-Chile diplomatic relations. This visit served as a pivotal moment in strengthening the partnership between the two countries, emphasizing the importance of Chile as an important global partner with vast natural resources, including copper and forests, along with a Preferential Trade Agreement that was expanded in 2017.

Notably, the visit of Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi to Santiago and Valparaíso in May 2022 marked a pivotal moment in strengthening the diplomatic relationship between the two nations. During her visit, Minister Lekhi addressed the Indian diaspora and the ITEC alumni, commending their unity and contribution to upholding India’s image in Chile. Her interactions further emphasized the shared cultural and historical connections between India and Chile, reaffirming the commitment to deepening bilateral relations. She was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Culture and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

In March last year we received the visit of the Secretary General for Foreign Office Consultations in Delhi and in June a visit of a public-private delegation headed by the Director General of Prochile and leaders of private organizations.

Conversely, the visit of Mr. Sebastián Gómez, Secretary Commerce of Chile in the Foreign Ministry of Chile, to participate in the India-LAC conclave in August underscored the mutual commitment to fostering economic cooperation. This visit laid the groundwork for discussions on potential expansion of the existing Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between India and Chile, with a focus on digital sector collaboration and investments, signifying a proactive approach towards strengthening economic ties.

Additionally, the visit of Vice Minister of Commerce, Mrs. Claudia Sanhueza, to India is poised to further enhance bilateral ties. The visit was instrumental to start technical conversations for a possible FTA between India and Chile, which would include discussions on investments and services. This signifies a proactive approach towards deepening economic cooperation and fostering greater collaboration between the two nations.