In this section

Our relationship with Chile

Chile is one of New Zealand’s longest standing and closest friendships in Latin America. We opened embassies in each other’s countries in 1972 and at Chile’s bicentennial in 2009 New Zealand gifted the Plaza Nueva Zelandia in Santiago as a symbol of this important relationship.  

There’s political cooperation with Chile as well as close contact in a number of multilateral forums. Business and commercial opportunities are promoted between the two countries particularly in agriculture and energy, education and there’s a working holiday exchange scheme for young people.

Political and foreign policy connections

The Foreign Ministers from both countries meet regularly to consult on a wide range of issues, and both countries are involved in a number of international forums focused common interests:

  • We share a common belief in trade liberalisation through the WTO, and are both are members of the Cairns Group, working toward freeing up agricultural trade.
  • Both countries are members of APEC, and share a vision of economic integration in the Pacific region.
  • New Zealand is an active observer of the Pacific Alliance which is a grouping that promotes regional integration. The founding members are Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
  • New Zealand and Chile share interests in addressing climate change, sustainable management of fisheries (e.g. South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation; International Whaling Commission) and protection of Antarctica.
  • Chile and New Zealand work to address greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector as members of the Global Research Alliance
  • Extensive cooperation in agriculture including training and commercial agri-tech arrangements.

Trade

2016 statistics

Total trade in goods 

$229 million

 

Exports to Chile

$128.4 million 

Top exports: dairy products, machinery, oil seeds

Imports from Chile

$101 million

Top imports: wood pulp, wood, fruit and nuts

Thanks to our geographic similarities Chile provides an ideal destination for New Zealand investment, particularly in the agricultural and energy sectors. Fonterra owns a 99.4% share of Soprole, Chile’s largest dairy processor. We also have significant farming investments in southern Chile, eg New Zealand company Manuka purchased Chile’s largest farm (19,000ha) in March 2008.

More recently, Chile has become an important source of students for New Zealand, including secondary school students through the “Penguins without Borders” programme.

There's strong potential for growth in tourism services, helped by LAN airline's daily flights between Santiago and Auckland.

Free trade agreements with Chile

We have regional free trade agreements that include Chile:

Working Holiday Scheme

New Zealanders aged between 18 and 35 can apply for a 12-month working holiday visa for Chile.

To apply, you can go to the Embassy of Chile in Wellington.

Aid

The New Zealand Aid Programme's work in Chile focuses on agricultural training.

Read about the New Zealand Aid Programme in Latin America

Embassies

Recent official visits

New Zealand to Chile
  • 2016: Minister Steven Joyce visited Chile to advance New Zealand’s relationship in education, trade, investment, and science with Chile
  • 2016: Minister Todd McClay visited Chile to attend the Pacific Alliance Observer State Ministerial
  • 2016: Parliamentary Speaker David Carter visited Chile with a Parliamentary delegation to meet with Chilean leaders from the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, as well as Government, business and academic contacts
  • 2015: Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Jim McLay visited Chile to exchange views on the United Nations Security Council
Chile to New Zealand
  • 2013: Economy Minister Pablo Longuiera visted New Zealand 
  • 2011: Labour Minister Evelyn Matthei visited New Zealand to focus on industry training
  • 2010: Environment Minister Maria Ignacia Benitez visited New Zealand to focus on environmental cooperation