The US-China trade deal is 'very important' for Chile, says the vice minister for trade

Key Points
  • It's very important for Chile that a trade deal between the U.S. and China is signed soon, Rodrigo Yanez, the Chilean vice minister of trade, told CNBC.
  • The two economic giants are large trading partners that account for nearly 50% of Chile's trade and Chile is "highly dependent" on commodity prices, which have been volatile as a result of the trade war, Yanez said.
We're expanding our presence in other markets: Chilean minister

The U.S. and China account for nearly 50% of Chile's trade — which makes a signed deal between the economic powers very important for the South American country, Chilean vice minister of trade Rodrigo Yanez told CNBC on Wednesday.

"We supply many factories that re-export from China to the U.S., and the way we've seen dropping, some of those exports ... it's something very important, not just to activate our exports, but also to the level of certainty that it should introduce to the markets," he said of a trade deal between Beijing and Washington.

He also said Chile is "highly dependent" on commodity prices, which have been volatile as a result of the trade war.

For more than a year, the U.S. and China have been engaged in a dispute that's expanded from trade to technology and national security issues. It has seen both sides impose punitive tariffs on each other and created uncertainty in the global economy.

Yanez said he expects "engagement" between the countries to continue. "That's the key word for us, that the U.S. and China are able to find their way through (to) an agreement, because countries like mine in the emerging world need more certainty when it comes to the economy," he said.

"That is why we're expecting for this agreement to be delivered," he added.

Meanwhile, Chile is expanding its presence in other markets, said Yanez. "We expect to grow in markets such as India, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets, the Eurasian Economic Union etc."

"Our GDP depends up to 50%, 57% actually, on trade," he said. "It's very important to talk about diversification, and that is why we're doing (it) on a very intense basis."