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SANTIAGO -- China's investment in Chile, currently standing at $94.7 million, is on the rise, a Chilean official said Tuesday.
China's investment is low but the Chilean government's measures to increase it are working, Matias Mori, executive vice president of Chile's Foreign Investment Committee, told local daily La Tercera.
"Two years ago, Chile's Foreign Investment Committee implemented a strategy to attract Chinese investment and today we are beginning to see concrete results," said Mori.
Mori said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Chile late last month marked "a milestone" in bilateral efforts to increase trade and investment and "reaffirms the excellent diplomatic and trade ties we have historically had with China".
Chile was the first South American country to establish diplomatic ties with China, the first to recognize China's market economy status, and the first individual country to sign a free trade agreement with China in 2006, Mori said.
During his visit, Premier Wen and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera signed an ambitious accord to double bilateral trade by 2015, which reached $30 billion in 2011.
To achieve that goal, Mori said, both countries will sign an Investments Supplementary Agreement to protect each other's investments and several Chinese investment projects will soon be launched in Chile.
"This year, we have received Chinese investment applications of $1.3 billion, which will materialize over the next three years," said Mori.
According to China's Ministry of Commerce, China's non-financial outbound direct investments grew 1.8 percent in 2011, or by more than $60 billion, which is 60 times the figure in 2000.
"We are seeing a new wave of Chinese investments around the world," said Mori, adding that "countries that succeed in showing more cultural affinity will be the ones to successfully attract investments".
China is Chile's largest trade partner while Chile is China's second largest South American trade partner.