Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Patriota, arrived in Santiago, Chile today, where he will meet with his Chilean counterpart, Alfredo Moreno and President Sebastián Piñera as part of annual bilateral talks to promote diplomatic and economic cooperation between the two countries. Although much of the dialogue will focus on economic issues, local media are reporting that talks will also cover regional integration issues, such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and Brazil’s interest in cooperating on the planned construction in Cerro Armazones, Chile of the European Union’s Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
Official statistics released by Brazil last year show that Chile was the second largest Latin American market for Brazilian products, while Brazil was fourth largest importer of Chilean goods and services. Trade between the two countries in 2010 reached $8.3 billion, a 58 percent increase over 2009. In addition, Brazilian investment in Chile amounted to $2 billion dollars, primarily in energy, mining, banking and construction. For its part, Chile’s investment in Brazil totaled $10 billion in 2010, making it the top destination for Chilean investments abroad.