Drawing somewhat less international attention than the G20 Summit in Argentina, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held its 2018 meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from November 17 through 18. This year’s APEC Summit was attended by more than two dozen regional leaders, including US Vice-President Mike Pence, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Another key guest was Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, who is expected to host next year’s APEC Summit in Santiago between the 16 and 17 of November.
Chile and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
Chile is a presidential republic and mid-sized country located in South America. With a total territory of 756.102 square kilometers, Chile is almost twice the size of Montana. Geographically, the country is dominated by a fertile central valley, the Andes Mountains inland, and 6.435 kilometers of coastline along the southern Pacific. Currently, Chile has a total population of 18 million citizens, with an average age of 35 years. Furthermore, about 88% of the population lives in an urban setting, notably the capital city of Santiago with its 6.7 million inhabitants.
The annual gross domestic product (GDP) of Chile is US$452 billion (PPP) and the national economy experienced positive economic growth upwards of 1.3% in recent years. As of today, the national economy is divided into 4% agriculture, 33% manufacturing, and 63% services. Meanwhile, the national labor force is divided into 9% working in the agriculture industry, 24% working in the industrial sector, and 67% working in services. Similarly, the national agriculture industry utilizes about 21% of the national territory, while another 22% is forested.
In terms of natural resources, Chile has copper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, and hydropower. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on copper processing, foodstuffs, fish processing, metallurgy, wood processing, transport equipment, cement, and textiles. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish, and timber.
In terms of trade, Chile is the world’s 41st largest export economy. During 2016, the country imported US$57.5 billion worth of goods and exported US$62.1 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$4.6 billion. Furthermore, that same year, the country’s main export, representing 20% or US$12.6 billion of the total, was refined copper. On the other hand, Chile’s main import, representing 5.8% or US$3.3 billion of all international purchases, were cars. Meanwhile, Chile’s main trading partners are China, the United States, Brazil, the European Union, and Japan.
Unfortunately, in Chile, some 600.000 people suffer from undernourishment. In recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the Chilean population has been 43 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution in the country have evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, permanent pastures and meadows in Chile covered 9.6 million hectares, while arable land covered 3.6 million hectares and permanent crops covered 196.000 hectares. More recently, by 2016, permanent pastures and meadows had increased to cover 14 million hectares, while arable land represented 1.3 million hectares and permanent crops accounted for 457.000 hectares.