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China, Chile continue talks on service trade

Xinhua, China

China, Chile continue talks on service trade

19 March 2008

SANTIAGO, March 18 (Xinhua) — Chile and China started their sixth round of talks on cooperation in the service trade Tuesday in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

The service trade is important as it enhances the employment rate and the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises, Andres Rebolledo, a Chilean official in charge of foreign trade, said.

It is of "great significance" to the economic development of Chile, the official added.

The first round of talks on service trade cooperation took place in January 2007 in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The talks are aimed at promoting bilateral trade by extending the Sino-Chilean free trade agreement, which came into force in October 2006, to services.

The free trade agreement has greatly pushed forward the development of bilateral economic and trade relations since it came into effect.

The China-Chile trade volume reached a total of 14.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, an increase of 65 percent over the previous year, according to figures released by China’s Commerce Ministry.

Chile hopes the agreement can serve as a bridge between South America and the vast Asian market.