In his first visit to Chile as Secretary of State of the Government of Joe Biden, Antony Blinken stated this Wednesday that Washington wants to strengthen investment in renewable energies in the South American country beyond solar energy. After a private meeting with President Gabriel Boric and then with Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola, Blinken assured from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that both countries are in tune that the economic gains produced by alliances must be inclusive and benefit the entire society. population, “not just a part”.
The United States has invested $775 million in five solar power projects in Chile. “The main source of foreign direct investment from the US in Chile is in areas such as renewable energy and we are going to continue strengthening these ties, beyond solar energy,” Blinken advanced after the meeting with the high-ranking Chilean authorities who, among several topics, discussed in depth the joint fight against climate change. The Secretary of State has highlighted that the clean energy sector provides 45% of energy in Chile, which will allow the country to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
In 2003, the US and Chile signed a free trade agreement, and since then trade between the two countries has more than quadrupled, reaching $38 billion last year, according to figures from Washington.
In line with strengthening investment in Chile, Urrejola has pointed out that the United States is not the only country interested in doing the same in terms of renewable energies. The chancellor has assured that in her bilateral meetings in the framework of the UN General Assembly in New York, different countries were attracted to do the same. Regarding the meeting with Bliken, she added that they discussed how to deal with production chains and the future of lithium. “We share the view of refocusing the work of the multilateral banks”, she pointed out.
Biden is working with Chile and other allied Latin American countries to provide solutions through joint cooperation to the needs of the population in the current complex economic scenario, Blinken said. “The Chilean economy has grown in recent years, but so has inequality here in Chile and also in other places in the hemisphere. And that was made worse by the covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis”, warned the senior US official, who has highlighted those most affected by the increase in food and fuel costs, worsened by the war between Russia and Ukraine, are the least likely to cope with increases.
Next year the United States and Chile celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations. The anniversary “will serve to take stock of our ties, learn from the lessons of the past, some of them very hard, and project the future of a fruitful bilateral relationship,” Urrejola maintained.
One of the common values that Biden’s Secretary of State highlighted the most has been the defense of democracy and human rights that Boric has defended, regardless of the ideology of the countries: “We see the strong dynamism of democracy in Chile . The work they have done to prepare the new Constitution, in favor of human rights, co-chairing the working group on Nicaragua and the presidency of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights”.
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