Fresh thinking on growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Seminar: Latin America and Asia - More Cooperation and Trade

Event | 16 October 2012 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


Latin American trade has traditionally concentrated on the North American and European markets. The emergence first of Japan, then the Republic of Korea and Southeast Asia, and finally the People's Republic of China, changed this in a fundamental way, as Latin American economies have become vital suppliers of raw materials to the Asian region and consumers of capital goods, vehicles, and electronics from Asia. Foreign direct investment in Latin America is rising while communications and transportation between the two regions are improving. The growing trade and investment ties are bound to increase, which will require closer co-operation and trust between governments as well as between businesspeople.

WTO Deputy Director General Alejandro Jara was born in 1949 in Santiago, Chile. In 1973 he obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile. With the support of a Fulbright scholarship he pursued graduate studies at the Law School, University of California at Berkeley (1975-1976).

In 1976 he joined the Foreign Service of Chile where he has specialized in international economic relations. He served in the Delegation of Chile to the GATT in Geneva (1979-1984) and was seconded to the Economic System for Latin America (SELA) in Caracas as Coordinator for Trade Policy Affairs. He was appointed Director for Bilateral Economic Affairs (1993-1994), Director for Multilateral Economic Affairs (1994-1999). During 1996-1997 he also served as Chile's Senior Official to APEC. At the same period he was deputy chief negotiator for the Chile—Canada Free Trade Agreement, and in 1997-1998 he was chief negotiator for the Chile—Mexico Free Trade Agreement. In July 1999 he was designated Director General for International Economic Relations.

In June 2000 he was appointed as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Chile to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. During 2001 he served as Chairperson of the Committee on Trade and Environment of the WTO. In February 2002 he was elected as Chairman of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services, which is in charge of the negotiations mandated by Ministers in Doha. He is the author of numerous articles and papers on international trade.


Policymakers, academics, media, and the general public.