Bahamas Information Services Updates
Bahamas and Chile to Strengthen Economic Ties
By Lindsay Thompson, BIS
Apr 12, 2008 - 9:23:39 PM

Governor General, His Excellency Arthur Hanna accepts Letters of Credentials presented by His Excellency Alfredo Garcia Castelblanco, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile during a ceremony in the Drawing Room at Government House on Thursday, April 10, 2008. (BIS Photo/Kristaan H.A Ingraham II)

NASSAU, Bahamas – Diplomatic ties between The Bahamas and the Republic of Chile are expected to strengthen under the provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, said Governor General His Excellency Arthur Hanna as he officially welcomed the Chile’s new Ambassador to The Bahamas on Thursday.


The Governor General accepted the Credentials presented by His Excellency Alfredo Garcia Castelblanco, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile during a ceremony in the Drawing Room at Government House.


“You have pledged to strengthen Bahamas/Chile bilateral relations and ties, thereby taking them to a higher level of understanding and cooperation. Your country’s exemplary economic performance demonstrates capacity in this regard,” the Governor General said.


The Bahamas and Chile established diplomatic relations on December 4, 1990. Since then, relations have emanated from bilateral exchanges in areas of language training programmes, trade negotiations and courses offered by the Diplomatic Academy of Chile.


“The Bahamas takes pride in the fact that the longstanding relations with the Republic of Chile are reflected in meaningful interaction within the international arena and the result of the strong commitment of both our countries to the principles and ideals of multilateralism.


“This is especially as they are defined in the context of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and their application in the priority indicative areas of peace and security, economic and social developments, human rights and climate change,” the Governor General said.


He said The Bahamas also views the negotiations of the new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union to ensure gains based on mutual benefit, particularly given the challenging global economic environment that exists.


“Your country has been unquestionably a leader in maximising multilateralism for national benefit. This success has been lauded and recorded by no less than the international monetary fund (IMF) and World Bank,” the Governor General said.

An IMF survey of January 2008 observed: “Over the past 15 years, Chile’s economic reforms and prudent macroeconomic policies have delivered strong growth and low inflation. Per Capita income has tripled in US dollars terms and poverty has been cut by two-thirds to 13 percent.”


Ambassador Designate of The Republic of Chile, His Excellency Alfredo Garcia Castelblanco presented his Letters of Credence to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette during a courtesy call on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Goodman's Bay Corporate Centre, Cable Beach. (BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel)

The survey also revealed that Chile helped to maintain the economic competitiveness despite the high price volatility of copper, Chile’s main export product and has provided added scope to address social priorities.


Governor General recognised Chile for contributing to The Bahamas’ human resources training for national development.


“There is scope for significant mutual benefit between the extensive fishing industry and vibrant financial sector which characterise both our economies,” he added.


The Governor General also acknowledged that Ambassador Castelblanco, 56, possesses a wealth of diplomatic experience, with professional and academic emphasis on the policy and practice of and returns from trade relations.


According to Ambassador Castelblanco, the new EPA   “offers renewed opportunities” for investment and growth to the Bahamian economy.


“This vibrant and highly developed service economy that has been classified with the third highest per capita income in this hemisphere after the United States and Canada, will be further strengthened by the EPA, allowing new levels of competitiveness that at its time will enable the development of a strong social agenda bringing higher levels of well being to the Bahamian people,” the Ambassador said.


Ambassador Castelblanco said Chile seeks to discuss a free trade agreement between Chile and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).


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