WELLINGTON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chile and New Zealand are to expand their trade and economic ties, particularly in education, agriculture and energy, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Friday after talks with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
Key, who is on a four-nation tour of Latin America, and Pinera also discussed the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations.
"New Zealand and Chile were founding members of what has become the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. These negotiations have now grown to include 11 economies, representing 21 trillion U. S. dollars in GDP and around 600 million consumers," Key said in a statement from his office.
"The Trans Pacific Partnership has strong momentum, and it is the only agreement where negotiations span the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. President Pinera and I both underlined our commitment to concluding a high-quality, ambitious agreement by October."
New Zealand businesses had ample scope to increase their influence and build on their investment in Chile, particularly in agriculture and renewable energy.
"Chile is developing its geothermal energy program, and New Zealand businesses have the expertise to help make ventures commercially viable. Both President Pinera and I are also committed to seeing an exchange of people, ideas and investment in the agriculture sector."
The two leaders discussed continued collaboration in the Global Research Alliance, and in other environmental initiatives including the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, whale conservation and cooperation on Antarctic issues.
New Zealand's relationship with Chile was its "broadest" in Latin America, and had been driven by increasing people-to-people links and investment in each other's countries, said Key.
Pinera had also pledged Chile's support for New Zealand's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2015-2016, he said.
Key is leading a trade delegation to Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil, and returns to New Zealand on March 15.