Despite sluggish growth in recent years, Chile emerged from the commodities boom’s end significantly less scathed than its neighbors, with robust growth returning this year. For President Sebastián Piñera, the country’s resilience is tied closely to Chile’s relationship with Asian markets – and its participation in regional blocs like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Piñera is actively working to strengthen ties, particularly as trade tensions mount between the U.S. and China. Last week, he was the only Latin American head of state to attend annual APEC meetings in Papua New Guinea. Chile will also host the APEC meetings in 2019 – a clear sign the country understands that “globalization means ‘Asianization’,” said Jorge Heine, the former Chilean ambassador to China and a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center. Heine spoke with AQ managing editor Cecilia Tornaghi about Chile’s strategy for filling the vacuum being left by creeping U.S. protectionism. “A lot of people thought that the TPP was dead once the US left it, but Chile and Japan joined forces and managed to bring it back to life,” Heine told AQ.
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