Shorthand version of the participations of the Australian Minister of Trade, Craig Emerson; Colombian Deputy Minister of Trade, Gabriel Duque; and Chilean Minister of Economy and Tourism, Pablo Longueira, as part of the G20 Trade Ministerial Meeting in th

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Puerto Vallarta, Jal., April 19, 2012.

Craig Emerson, Australian Minister of Trade: We are here today to inform you about the progress we have achieved at the G20 Ministerial Meeting. On behalf of Australia, I would like to congratulate first Mr. Bruno Ferrari for the organization of such a positive agenda for our work.
This agenda includes the needs of both developed countries and developing countries, and a great deal of effort has been made to fulfill its objectives.

There has been done a lot of thinking on value chains, which have given many countries the possibility to work in more productive sectors.
We are trying to move away from the idea that exports are good and imports are bad, to a concept where both imports and exports are beneficial.

In regard to the WTO, we are trying to close deals in some fields instead of waiting for a global agreement, which has eluded us for 11 years.
We are focused on facilitating trade, because we think this can help us deal with 40 per cent of the value of the Doha negotiations.

It was also agreed that two thirds of this facilitation efforts were for the benefit of developing countries.
And I also want to thank the contribution made by the B20. Their ideas have been very helpful for the work of our organization.
In fact, the B20 has also encouraged the idea of dividing in several sectors, which helps us move forward. And now, I give the floor to my colleagues.

Gabriel Duque, Deputy Minister of Trade of Colombia
Well, as you know, Colombia is not a member of the G20, but we have been invited by Mexico to participate in the deliberations of this important group. We think that by bringing the focus closer to the issues of trade, and incorporating them into the agenda, we are collaborating with the efforts of the G20, whose work is going in the right direction to solve the great challenges of our world. The chance given to Colombia to participate in these meeting is seen as an incredible opportunity to make a positive contribution to such issues.

We want to congratulate Mexico for the urgency of the matter. These discussions enrich the debate and the language we are using with insights in the integration. We must show the world a simplistic, commercial vision that is not doing any good to the business agenda, by giving ground to the protectionist outbreaks we are witnessing in many parts of the globe, though not systematically.

The vision of global production chains is, as I said before, the axis of the Colombian internationalization policy. When we explain what we are doing, we talk about a changing world, where a sustainable economy requires the integration of global production chains.

There is no other way to get the latest technology, to be acquainted of new developments in consumption. This integrative vision makes us more ambitious and contributes to fighting protectionism. The responses so far have been very constructive and positive. As the Minister said, the idea is to fight and keep on fighting protectionism, and its side effects, and to move forward as far as we can go. Colombia supports the idea of facilitating trade, mainly in developing countries, which is an achievable goal in the short term.

PABLO LONGUEIRA, MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND TOURISM OF CHILE: First, I want to express my gratitude, like the Ministers of Australia and Colombia before me, for the invitation we received from Mexico, particularly from the President of this meeting, Minister Bruno Ferrari. Minister Ferrari has given us the chance to take part formally in this meeting, even without being members of the G20, and to share the vision displayed by both Ministers in the sense of including also the developing countries, especially a small country like Chile that opened to the world just 30 years ago.

Today, however, we are one of the most open economies, and we have signed up several agreements with more than 90 per cent of the world´s product.

As I said a few minutes ago, our aim of promoting the free trade in Chile has given us the possibility to link 80 per cent of the country’s product with foreign trade, and to generate in 30 years a social and economic development in Chile, which we were unable to achieve during the past 200 years of independent life.

It has also given us the chance to alleviate poverty, and our experience points out to the fact that in emerging economies the road to development goes only through free trade.

Today, when we export, for instance, a kilogram of grapes, 10 per cent of its value goes through the value chain, i.e. transport, logistics, cold chains, etc., which has led in Chile to a yearly income per capita of more than 17 thousand dollars, the highest income per capita in Latin America, as a result of the country’s openness to the world.

Therefore, we’ll like to take the chance at this Forum and in every multilateral convention to further encourage free trade in the world.
The only way to increase employment –a decent employment– in the Continent, is precisely by improving the value chain. Value chains allow SMEs generate 75 per cent of the employment in the region, by giving access to financing and to the global chains that are the main feature of a global world.

That is why any protectionist measure is, from an ethical point of view, unacceptable. Poverty and inequality in Latin America are the result of many years of protectionism, which constrain access to goods and services at better prices and with a better quality.

For this reason, the only way for developing countries and their people to attain a better quality of life is precisely by demanding at all international forums a strong support to free trade. Again we want to express our gratitude for the invitation we received from Mexico to share our experience, but also for the design of the forum that provided a trustful environment to discuss in-depth the international trade requirements and the ways to facilitate trade. In view of the slowness we have observed, we have made the decision of taking many unilateral actions to facilitate the free transit of goods and services.

We are an open-skies country, because we have given up unilaterally all reciprocities, and we are planning to waive every coastal levy in the next days, where a foreign company will have the same rights as a domestic company.

Given the fact that today only a few products have a 100 per cent origin in one place –since many products are made with parts from other nations–, the best way to facilitate free trade is by removing all the barriers that hinder competitiveness in our countries and the development of value chains. This same thing happens to exporting countries, were a large number of jobs is linked to foreign trade.

That is why we express our gratitude to the invitation made by the Mexican Government for the opportunity to share our points of view with the Ministers of Australia and Colombia. We have a common vision on the route we have to follow to implement the free trade in the world.