Updated 08:01 PM EDT, Wed, Oct 21, 2020

Chile & Turkey Sign Cooperation Deal Strengthening the Latin American Market

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A new deal aimed to strengthen the Latin American market has been signed by the presidents of Chile and Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, signed the deal in Chile's La Moneda Palace on Monday, teleSUR reported. Erdoğan's meeting with Bachelet was part of a tour that will extend to Ecuador and Peru in search of new markets, which will also open Turkey's strategic entrance to Latin America.

"Chile is a key country for our opening in Latin America and the Caribbean. This strategy of opening in the last 10 years has had a very important impetus," Erdoğan said after the meeting, according to a translator quoted by teleSUR.

Bachelet said that Turkey began its Latin America approach in Chile, the news outlet further reported.

"We believe that there is space to expand and diversify our commerce," the Chilean leader took note, specifying the inclusion of "new products and services," teleSUR added. Bachelet said that her administration is hoping to start negotiations in the short term.

Turkey has carried out new diplomatic missions to boost its presence in the Latin American region in the last decade, teleSUR wrote. Since then, commercial exchange has multiplied and reached $10 billion in 2014.

Aside from being a major copper producer, Chile is also home to most of the world's lithium supply, which is used in rechargeable batteries and electric cars, according to Anadolu Agency.

Erdoğan also said that tourism will be improved. The number of tourists from Chile visiting Turkey annually was around 17,000, the Turkish leader added.

"We will see some improvements in the near future on that with the opening of a non-stop flight between Istanbul and Santiago by Turkish Airlines which holds the title for the airline flying to the most destinations," Erdoğan said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

Chile is the first Latin American nation to sign a free-trade deal with Turkey in 2011, the news outlet added. The two countries' trade volume amounted to about $417 million last year, a decline from 2014's $562 million. Erdoğan said that through belief and trust, Chile and Turkey's trade volume could go up to $1 billion in the short term.

The two nations also signed an agreement on added cooperation between their government aid agencies, Anadolu Agency noted.

Erdoğan also discussed the crisis of refugees fleeing to Turkey from Iraq and Syria, adding that the issue cost his country to shell out a whopping $9 billion. The Turkish president said that the people who have died because of the refugee crisis "are symbols of the conflict," teleSUR reported.

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