Official visit by the President of the Government of Spain to Chile

Spain and Chile seal their alliance for gender equality in their renewed strategic relationship

President's News - 2024.3.8

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Santiago de Chile (Chile)

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, was received by the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, as part of his official visit to the country. The two leaders signed the Renewed Strategic Partnership, which strengthens the bilateral relationship by incorporating new priorities. Coinciding with International Women's Day, Sanchez and Boric also signed a Joint Declaration in which they reaffirmed the commitment of Spain and Chile to gender equality. At the beginning of the day, the President of the Government inaugurated the Spain-Chile business meeting.

The President of the Government visited Chile, "a friendly country" with which Spain has a strategic relationship, to deepen the cultural, political and economic ties that unite the two countries.

In this regard, the two leaders signed the Renewed Strategic Alliance, which incorporates new priorities such as gender equality and feminist diplomacy, environmental sustainability and security, and shows the will of Spain and Chile to consolidate and update the bilateral relationship.

They also witnessed the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on just ecological transition, democratic memory, Antarctic cooperation and cooperation in science and innovation.

Alliance for gender equality

Speech by the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, at an official ceremony for International Women's Day held at the Amphitheater of the House of Culture in the commune of La Pintana | Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo

The President of the Government's official trip coincided with International Women's Day. This is a highly important date for the governments of Spain and Chile, two of the few in the world with a feminist foreign policy. To commemorate the event, the leaders attended an official ceremony in the La Pintana district.

"Let us unite our voice for equality between men and women," said President Sánchez after signing a Joint Declaration that underlines "the strongest conviction" that gender equality is an imperative to achieve "fairer democracies". The two leaders thereby reaffirmed the commitment to develop the necessary actions in all matters related to gender equality and women's empowerment: "It is a question of human rights," added Pedro Sánchez.

The president said that the two countries share the vision that equality is "the backbone of democracy" and are committed to defending it in all international fora.

"Closing the gender gap is a moral duty," added the president, calling on us to ask ourselves what kind of world we would now live in "if we had not forsaken half its talent". In this regard, he stressed the commitment of Spain and Chile to continue taking measures to advance gender equality.

Spain, committed to equality

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, during the official welcome ceremony at the Palacio de la Moneda

In his speech, President Sánchez highlighted the policies approved by the government in the area of gender equality. They include measures such as the Equal Representation Act to ensure that women have half the political and economic power: "If women are half the population, they must represent half of the governments, parliaments and boards of directors of large companies," he pointed out. He cited the example of the Government of Spain, "with parity and three female vice-presidents".

This commitment to feminism and equality, he added, has resulted in a series of measures aimed at combating inequality, such as the strengthening of the abortion law, the criminalisation of harassment of women who decide to terminate a pregnancy, the multiplication of resources to fight against male violence and the equalisation of maternity and paternity leave, among others.

The President warned that despite these measures "the threat of regression is real" and that no continent is safe from it as "there are forces that want to set women back half a century". Sánchez regretted that "in many places" the gender perspective is disappearing and equality policies are being dismantled.

In this regard, the president called for action because "rights are not only conquered, but they are also defended", and because "the greatest and most just cause of the 21st century" is at stake: feminism.

Strengthening economic relations

Speech by the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, at the opening event of the Spain-Chile business forum | Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo

Another objective of the trip was to promote and strengthen economic and business ties between Spain and Chile. Spanish investment in Chile is very significant, and Spain is currently the world's fifth largest investor in the country, with over €16.5 billion of accumulated investment, concentrated especially in strategic sectors.

The value of Spanish goods exports reached over €1.67 billion in 2023, while the value of services exports increased by almost 40% in 2022, to over €1.2 billion.

These figures fully justify the strategic link with Chile, the president explained during his speech at the opening of the Spain-Chile Business Meeting. He also stressed the importance of the two economies being very complementary: "The strengths of one country build on and accentuate the strengths of the other," he added.

The president pointed out that public-private partnerships are being promoted, thanks to bilateral economic and trade agreements, "making this time of transformation a time of opportunities to modernise our economies".

Shared priorities in transforming the economy

Spain and Chile share another equally valuable asset, said the president, which is the synergy in economic and social priorities that have great transformative potential: "Spain and Chile aspire to take part in a global paradigm shift with the aim of making economic development fairer and more egalitarian between men and women".

The first of these priorities is the commitment to renewable energies. In this regard, the president highlighted the role of Spanish companies in sectors such as energy transition, which have become key players in this transformation in Chile.

Pedro Sánchez also pointed out that in the context of the EU- CELAC Summit, promoted by the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, which served to relaunch the strategic relationship between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Memorandum of Understanding between Chile and the EU on sustainable raw materials was signed.

The Global Gateway Investment Agenda for Latin America in infrastructure and strategic sectors for sustainable development was also adopted, in which Spain is an active participant.

The second shared priority, Sánchez continued, is the commitment to inclusive and socially just economic growth. In this respect, the new Chile-EU Advanced Framework Agreement, signed in December 2023 under the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, represents a milestone in trade relations between the two countries since, as Sánchez recalled, in addition to eliminating almost all tariffs, it introduced shared commitments on advanced trade and sustainability.

Non official translation