SANTIAGO, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Chile and Brazil on Friday concluded the first round of negotiations towards a bilateral free trade agreement, Chile's Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
The talks, which took place in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, aimed to speed up the process so a deal can be signed by the end of the year, the ministry's department for international economic ties (Direcon) said in a statement.
As part of the effort to forge a modern trade deal, the agenda included trade facilitation, trade in services, as well as environmental, labor and gender equality concerns.
"The first round took place in a very positive way. Based on a sense of urgency, ..., the delegations made substantial progress in discussing the proposals presented," said Felipe Lopeandia, director of bilateral economic affairs at Direcon.
"Both delegations agreed to hold the next meeting at the start of August in Santiago, and there will be rounds in September and October, with the goal of signing this agreement at the end of this year," said Lopeandia.
According to Brazil's Foreign Ministry, Brazil's trade with Chile reached nearly 8.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, an increase of about 22 percent year-on-year.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and his Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer jointly announced the start of the first round, during Pinera's state visit to Brazil at the end of April, when both leaders agreed to expand economic and trade ties with an FTA.