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Chile, Japan agree to expand ties in trade, technology

SANTIAGO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Chile's President Michelle Bachelet and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Thursday to expand ties between their two countries, especially in trade and technology.

At a joint press conference following their meeting, Bachelet said, the encounter "gave rise to many topics and agreements that are going to make the relationship between our countries more solid and more diverse."

The two agreed on resolutions that will strengthen our economic and trade ties, as well as cooperation in scientific, cultural and public policy, added Bachelet.

"We are outlining our future agenda in the area of economic exchange, but also a series of accords that are going to allow Chile to bridge its technology gap," stressed Bachelet.

Abe said, apart from the economic field, "we will undertake exchange in the science-technology field."

"Chile is a very important partner that shares fundamental values such as democracy, market economy and human rights," he added.

Chile and Japan signed in 2007 a Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement.

Also on Thursday, Abe helped inaugurate Japan's first copper mine in Chile, Caserones in the northern region of Atacama, via teleconference from the capital Santiago.

Abe, who arrived in Chile Wednesday after visiting Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, is to leave for Brazil later Thursday as part of his Latin America tour.

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