COLUMN BY FOREIGN MINISTER JORGE FAURIE

Argentina and Chile share a border of over 5,000 thousand kilometres, so our bilateral relationship is imbued with unique value and complexity. Its dynamism is evidenced by, among other things, the existence of over thirty dialogue mechanisms that meet annually on both sides of the Andes.

On 22 August these ties were evidenced once again. The Ninth Binational Meeting of Ministers and the Meeting of Argentine Governors and Chilean Mayors of the Common Border were held in Santiago de Chile, a city that is very dear to our hearts.

We signed fifteen agreements on several matters, aiming at a common goal: intelligent and strategic integration between our nations. We thus strengthened our bonds of friendship and cooperation through remarkable progress on a broad agenda of issues of shared interest.

As regards infrastructure, borders and connectivity, it is worth mentioning the Refurbishing of Cristo Redentor Border Crossing, in respect of which an agreement was signed last May in order to facilitate and expedite border transit by improving the tunnel system. The paramount goal of free movement of people between our countries deserves our best efforts in the coming years. We are convinced that the Andes Mountains should bring us together rather than create an idea of separation between us.

In the fields of economy and trade, the prompt entry into force of the Trade Agreement, as well as progress made in terms of energy and tourism, will promote the development of value-added exports, the integration of production chains and job creation.

As regards sustainable management of natural resources, the Joint National Parks project, southern marine scientific cooperation and the study on the creation of a protected marine area, as well as the cooperation on natural disasters, evidence how mature and rich our bilateral relationship is.

These agreements and several strategic challenges ahead of us show that Argentina and Chile share a common destiny in which integration is a State policy.

I now invite you to read about this meeting in detail, as well as about other actions undertaken by the Argentine Foreign Ministry in August.