Chile and Japan have shared a complementary trade relationship for more than a century, with an increasing momentum since the 1970s, stimulated by Japanese industrial development and Chile’s role as an important and reliable supplier of natural resources, including strategic mineral resources.
In the field of trade in goods, Japan is the second largest trade partner in export and the sixth in import for Chile in 2004. According to the Trade Indicators issued by the Central Bank of Chile, its trade with Japan accounts for 3.2% of import (US$ 798 million, the sixth place) and 11.6% of export (US$ 3 billion and 722million, the second place) in 2004. Japan’s trade with Chile accounts for 0.9% of import (451.9 billion yen) and 0.1% of export (78.1 billion yen) in 2004, according to the Trade Statistics issued by the Ministry of Finance, Japan.
Japan’s import from Chile has continuously exceeded its export, mainly with the result that Chile was a stable supplier of natural resources for Japan, thus Chile has a great amount of trade surplus with Japan (approximately US$ 2.92 billion in 2004 (source :Trade Indicators of the Central Bank of Chile). In particular, it is observed that Chile is an important mineral resources supplier to Japan (50.6 percent of Japan’s import in copper ores and concentrates, 79.6% percent in lithium carbonates and 55.8 percent in roasted molybdenum ores and concentrates come from Chile.) (source: Trade Statistics of the Ministry of Finance, Japan, in quantity). Agricultural, forest and fishery products as well as mineral resources have a large share in exports from Chile to Japan. Especially, fish and fishery products have a 20.7% share of Japanese import from Chile, 93.6 billion yen in 2004 (source: Trade Statistics of Ministry of Finance, Japan). In Chile’s import from Japan industrial goods, especially cars, machinery and industrial products have a large share.