Ambassador Alex Wetzig delivers his presentation on Chile’s foreign policy strategies.

One of the major goals in Chile’s relations with the Philippines and Southeast Asia is to make trade more inclusive and sustainable. This vital point was emphasized during the Mabini Dialogue “Chile-Southeast Asia Relations: Fulfilling Opportunities,” on 18 August 2023 at the Carlos P. Romulo Library. The Dialogue, hosted by the Foreign Service Institute in partnership with the Embassy of Chile in the Philippines, discussed Chile’s foreign policy under President Gabriel Boric’s administration, Chile’s engagement with the Asia Pacific, and the prospects for the future of Chile-Philippines and Chile-ASEAN relations.

The Dialogue featured Ambassador Alex Wetzig, Secretary-General of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Chile as the main speaker. Dr. Aries Arugay, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, served as Discussant.

Amb. Wetzig identified the Boric administration’s foreign policy priorities. Through its foreign policy, Chile seeks to continue the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights and strengthen its relations with its neighboring countries, especially those with historical relevance. The new priorities of Chilean foreign policy also include the implementation of a feminist foreign policy, the transition to a green and sustainable economy, and the promotion of actions seeking to address and mitigate the global climate crisis.

Efforts toward inclusive and sustainable trade between Chile and Southeast Asia include the promotion of trade in services and increasing market access across various sectors. Another area of cooperation that is being prioritized is the promotion of clean energy and sustainable development. As a regional leader in clean energy, Chile seeks to partner with the Philippines and ASEAN to improve technology and resources through investments and technical exchange.

Dr. Aries Arugay discussed the shared heritage between the Philippines and Chile and its importance in the friendship and dialogue between the two countries. He underscored the efforts of both the Philippines and Chile in promoting a democracy that works, grounded in principles of accountability and the protection of human rights. He also highlighted the efforts of Chile in creating economic partnerships, especially in Southeast Asia. Dr. Arugay believes that the Philippines should seize these opportunities and effectively engage with Chile’s economic pursuits for its own benefit and Southeast Asia’s.

Speakers address questions and comments during the Open Forum.

Ambassador Patricio Powell, Director for the Asia Pacific Division of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined the speakers during the open forum, which centered on Chile’s implementation of its feminist foreign policy, its New Lithium Strategy, environmental sustainability, and Chile’s role in regional and multilateral economic arrangements. Amb. Wetzig stressed the significance of continuous cooperation and dialogue among countries in order to reach successful solutions to shared global challenges.

The Mabini Dialogue was livestreamed and attended by representatives from the DFA, FSI, Latin American diplomatic missions, the academe, and other government institutions.

From L-R: Ambassador Patricio Powell, Director for the Asia Pacific Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile; Ambassador Alvaro Jara, Ambassador of Chile to the Philippines; Ambassador Alex Wetzig, Secretary-General of Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile; Ambassador Ma. Teresita C. Daza, Director-General, FSI; Ambassador Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, Philippine Ambassador to Chile; Assistant Secretary Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Office of American Affairs; Dr. Aries A. Arugay, Chairperson, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman.