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Chile´s Senate approves trade pact with Brazil


SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile´s Senate approved late on Tuesday a free trade agreement with Brazil, cementing the South American nation´s long-standing relationship with its top trade partner in Latin America.

The agreement, which builds on rules facilitating commerce already in effect between Chile and Mercosur bloc nations Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, is likely to boost thriving trade between the two nations.

Chile shipped more than $3 billion worth of goods to Brazil in 2019, representing nearly 30% of its total exports to Latin America, Foreign Ministry data shows.

"Today more than ever it is essential to strengthen our commercial alliances to give a boost to the economic recovery," Chile´s foreign minister, Andrés Allamand, said following the agreement´s approval.

Both Chile and Brazil have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with dire economic prospects weighing on their futures.

The agreement will help regulate and boost trade in several key areas, the ministry said. Chile supplies Brazil with such products as copper cathodes, salmon and wine, while Brazil ships to Chile meat, vehicle bodies and manufactured iron and steel products.

Chile, the world's top copper producer, has long welcomed free and open trade. The country has signed 30 commercial agreements with 65 global markets, the Foreign Ministry said.

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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