Sat, 26 Nov 2022

By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 29th August, 2022 (WAM) -- Although Latin American nation Chile and the UAE are two distant lands, certain common characteristics such as "openness to the world and women's empowerment, among others" make both countries natural allies, a top Chilean diplomat told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

"One of those basic characteristics is the openness to the world...the openness to investment...openness to creativity, innovation, and new technologies etc.," said Patricio Diaz Broughton, the Chilean Ambassador to the UAE. Chile wants to strengthen and expand the relations with the UAE in those naturally linked realms, he added in an exclusive interview with WAM at the Chilean Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Another shared characteristic is promoting women's empowerment as both countries try to enhance the participation of women in social, economic and leadership domains, stressed Broughton who took charge as the ambassador in early August.

A career diplomat, he had served in Germany, UK, US, Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, and the United Nations. Prior to the current posting, he was Director of the Middle East and Africa Division at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prospects of CEPA

As both countries are launching negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the envoy said, "We hope, if that comes to success, all the avenues for more investment and trade... more creativity and innovations will be there in place."

The resultant regulatory framework for mutual investments and trade, he believes, will pave the way for more bilateral delas in energy, agriculture and food security, water generation and conservation etc.

As the UAE is preparing itself for the future, probably without fossil fuels due to climate change concerns; and adopting renewables such as solar, wind and hydrogen, Chile wants to enhance cooperation in that sector, the diplomat said.

Tackling climate change together

"Chile has been experiencing a drought that lasted about 12 years in the central zone of our country. Fortunately, we have received rains this year, especially in the central area where Santiago, the capital, is located. Otherwise, without rains, we would have been in an emergency during 2023," he explained.

Therefore, Broughton emphasised that it is a priority for Chile to decarbonise the economy and there has already been progress in decarbonising the energy sources.

The UAE has managed to create beautiful cities with patches of green grass and trees, taking advantage of the water desalination and water recycling, the envoy pointed out. "There we have another very important area of cooperation. Chile will have to invest heavily in in this kind of technologies. We can cooperate and hopefully receive some investments from the UAE."

Food security and world logistics passport

Food security is another area of cooperation as it is a priority for the UAE as well, Broughton said. "Chile is a great producer of Agricultural products."

The World Logistics Passport, a major Dubai initiative to boost trade between developing markets, can play a major role in enhancing global food security by facilitating logistics of agriproducts, he suggested. "We are most willing to explore those areas."

The UAE 's progress in space sector and new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics etc. also offers new areas of cooperation, the diplomat said.

UAE's visible diversity

Although he had never visited the UAE before coming here as the ambassador, the first few weeks have given him ample opportunity to experience an impressively diverse society. "I am totally impressed about the diversity and tolerance, and how all these different faiths and nationalities coexist peacefully. You can watch that...you can experience that on streets, in shopping malls and public institutions. You see this amazing, colourful, vivid, and creative range of people and cultures everywhere," Broughton exclaimed.

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