H.E. Maria Eliana Cuevas, Ambassador of Chile in Romania
Today, Her Excellency Maria Eliana Cuevas, Ambassador of Chile in Romania is hosting the reception to mark the Independence Day of her country that was celebrated on 18th of September. On that occasion, Chilean Ambassador to Romania sent Nine O’Clock the following message:Chile celebrates the 18th of September 204 years since our independence from Spain. This celebration is held in the second term government of President Michelle Bachelet, who took office on the 11th of March this year.
The government program of the new president aims to turn Chile into a more developed and inclusive country by 2020. In this respect, important reforms have been established, three of which are considered critical: the Education Reform, the Tax Reform and a new Constitution. Along with these reforms, the electoral system is also undergoing changes and the vote of Chileans who live abroad has been approved. She also undertook to create a state AFP (State Pension Funds Association), since currently they are private.
On the other hand, the President announced an ambitious agenda for the development of alternative energy in the country, which includes seven axes and is to lay the foundations for development in this area for the next 20 years. Among other things, she proposes a new role of the State in the field of energy: energy price reduction, development of local energy resources, primarily sustainable hydroelectricity and integration of Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE).
The Government also launched a major “Infrastructure, Development and Inclusion” Plan, which aims to modernize and promote the development of the country’s infrastructure, increasing investment in public works up to 2030. Thus, Chile has embarked on a path of transformations in order to end inequities in all its dimensions and to grow at a sustainable and inclusive pace.
It´s worth mentioning that this year Chile had to confront once again the forces of nature, a strong earthquake hit northern Chile earlier this year and a large fire affected Valparaiso, perhaps the biggest in history. In these situations Chile again put to test its organizational skills and emergency strategies against such natural disasters were strengthened.
In the economic sphere, Chile registered a growth of 4.1% in 2013. For this year the Central Bank forecasts a smaller GDP growth. Facing this slowdown, an agenda for reviving the economy for 2014 and 2015 has been implemented.
Regarding the international insertion strategy, Chile has trade agreements with over 60 countries. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, said that “Chile will shift its foreign policy from an approach that has privileged economic relations – which will continue to be very important for the country – towards an integrated perspective that gives equal weight to the political, social and cultural dimensions in an increasingly globalized world, with active and interconnected citizenship across the national borders.”
Chile will equally continue to push forward the negotiations in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is perhaps the boldest integration process among the major economies on both sides of the Pacific. The existing “Pacific Alliance” comprised by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru also adds up to the other initiative.
This year we celebrate 89 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chile and Romania. Our relations are in very good standing. We are also very pleased to have significantly increased bilateral trade and cooperation in the international organizations and hope for more in the future.
In this field we can highlight some important events, such as the participation of Romanian companies in the installation of photovoltaic parks in northern Chile, and the participation of more than 20 young Romanians in the Start Up Chile program, for which they received a grant of $ 35.000 from the Government of Chile in order to develop IT projects in our country.
Equally notable is our participation in various events both economic and cultural, in virtually every city in Romania. I herewith invite you to visit us at the upcoming Good Wine Fair, to be held in December this year, where you can enjoy some very interesting Chilean wines. The exportations of Chilean wines to Romania has increased by almost 500 % since 2010.
We face the future with optimism and see very positive and ever stronger relations between Chile and Romania, through a great friendship between our two countries. With a culture that comes from the same Latin root and with similar challenges, Chile and Romania today have multiple opportunities to jointly cope today´s global challenges.
Finally, it should also be mentioned that we are honored to celebrate this year 100 years of our renowned “anti- poet “Nicanor Parra. Throughout Chile, and the entire world, several homages have been brought to our most irreverent Chilean poets. Today it´s our turn to pay our tribute by expressing our affection and admiration to one of the most renowned Chilean writers, both inside and outside Chile.