Canada says trade deal upgrade improves financial services access to Chile
People walk past money exchange signs advertising the sale of the U.S. dollar for 635 Chilean pesos in downtown Santiago in this file photo. (AP/Roberto Candia)
Published Monday, September 30, 2013 10:19AM EDT
OTTAWA -- The Harper government says it has upgraded its free trade deal with Chile, including obtaining greater access for Canadian banks to the south American country's financial services market.
As well, the upgrade in the 16-year-old treaty includes new rules on government procurement, customs procedures and dispute settlement.
Trade Minister Ed Fast said ahead of a formal announcement that the financial services deal will ensure Canada's banks, insurance firms and other business will enjoy enhanced access in Chile.
The financial sector represents about 16 per cent of Chile's gross domestic product.
Ottawa says it estimates trade with Chile boosts Canada's economy by about $250 million annually, a relatively small number.