Chile is celebrating 207 years of independent life, which have been characterized by the efforts of its governments to achieve a sustained economic growth based on a democratic system, which, except for a few brief periods, has been an essential pillar in the history of the country. Since the establishment of its institutions in the early nineteenth century, Chile has gone through a period when democracy was imbedded and matured in the twentieth century, transforming afterwards into a prosperous, strong and stable country that today allows to face the new challenges of the twenty-first century, always keeping the objective of being a more developed country, but at the same time a more inclusive and solidary one as well.
At a commercial economic level, Chile is characterized by wide economic openness and international integration. Between January and August 2017, Chilean commercial exchanges summed up US$ 85,191 million, which represents a growth of 9.8% over the same period of the previous year. FOB exports totaled US$ 43,103 million, with an annual increase of 9.2%, and FOB imports registered an 11% growth rate, accumulating US$ 39,651 million. Chile has free trade agreements with over 60 countries, and in this context we must highlight the Pacific Alliance, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, which together total a population of over 200 million inhabitants, representing half of Latin American trade.
Chile is recognized as a very dynamic economy and, indeed, one of the best evaluated emerging economies worldwide: open economy, private initiative, steady economic growth, solid financial system, solid democratic institutions, low degrees of corruption, high degree of transparency and a prosperous upper middle class, among others. Its hallmark stability, transparency, competitiveness and excellent business prospects position Chile not only as a very reliable business partner and one of the more attractive destinations for foreign investment in Latin America.
It should also be underlined that in 2017 Chile has been awarded for the third consecutive year the title for best adventure tourism destination in Latin America. This recognition is granted by the World Travel Awards, also known as the Oscars of tourism. This adds up to the award received in 2016 as the “Best Adventure Tourism Destination on the Planet”.
This year marks 92 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chile and Romania. In this period, we have maintained an uninterrupted and fruitful relationship that has strengthened over time. Our links are characterized by similarities and common values that are expressed by sharing the same views regarding the big global issues. Within the framework of the visit of the General Director of Globalization from the Romanian Foreign Ministry to Chile, political consultations were held with his counterpart of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The revision of the bilateral agenda allowed us to explore new areas of cooperation and exchange in areas of common interest, such as renewable energy, innovation, services, tourism, intervention in case of emergency, just to name a few.
Finally, in this climate of permanent rapprochement, we must underline the fact that over the last few years, 20 young Romanian entrepreneurs have received scholarships in the amount of US$ 40,000 each through the Start Up Chile Program in order to develop their innovation and technology projects in our country. In addition to this, we must also point out the increasing number of academic-cultural exchanges and an ever growing interest in a better mutual understanding on the part of the civil society of our countries.