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Chile reopens to Canadian beef

Export certificates are now in place to resume immediate exports of all types of Canadian beef to Chile, the federal government announced Thursday.

Chile, which signed a free trade agreement with Canada in 1997, was among many countries to shut its ports to all Canadian beef in 2003 after the discovery of Canada’s first domestic case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an Alberta cow.

Immediate unrestricted access to Chile’s beef market is estimated to be worth up to $5 million a year for exporters, with “potential growth” of up to $10 million in three years, the federal government said.

Chile’s total imports of beef products from all sources in 2012 were valued at an estimated $827.7 million, the government added.

Reopening Canadian beef producers’ access to Chile involved “high-level discussions between both countries” and visits to Canada by Chilean authorities to review and approve the Canadian beef inspection system, the government said.

Thursday’s announcement came as part of this week’s state visit to Canada by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

The government previously noted the Canada-Chile free trade pact has led to a tripling in two-way trade between the two countries, making Canada the largest source of new direct investment in Chile. Work is also ongoing to “modernize and broaden” the agreement. — Network

Related story:
Canada formally joins Trans-Pacific trade talks, Oct. 9, 2012

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