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Friday, November 20, 2009

On A Friday: Chile Called and They Want Their Trade Back

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Australia has many Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with countries around the world, including New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Australia also has an FTA with Chile, well, if the DFAT website is to be believed, sort of.

The DFAT, or Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is the Federal body which deals with matters regarding trade and other foreign relations such as foreign aid. The main website addressing Australia’s FTAs only mentions the Australia-Chile FTA as being under negotiation, and “expected to come into force in January 2009”.

Fortunately, DFAT has a page on the Australia-Chile FTA which is up to date despite this main page being old. I’ll overlook the fact that the FTA came into effect two months later than expected!

I discovered this on the 7th of October this year and promptly emailed DFAT, however at time of writing (over a month and a half later) this vital piece of information has still not been updated. A copy of the email is below:

To whom it may concern,
I have found a small discrepancy on your page regarding Free Trade Agreements ( In the third paragraph of the section entitled ‘Free trade agreements’ on this page, the section regarding the Chile-Australia FTA reads as follows: “An FTA with Chile was concluded in May 2007 and is expected to come into force in January 2009 following ratification by the parliaments of both countries.”
This information is superseded by information on another DFAT page which reads as follows: “The Australia-Chile FTA entered into force on 6 March 2009.” (
I hope that this email can be of assistance in fixing this error, 
William Kulich

I hope this is fixed soon – it is a little embarrassing!

dfat error ed2

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