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JOINT DECLARATION issued at the conclusion of the Meeting between The President of the Republic of C

1. On 17 April 1998, on the eve of the Second Summit of the Americas, His Excellency the President of the Republic, Eduardo Frei, met with the Heads of States and Governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Specially invited to this Meeting was the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

2. During the Meeting, the President and the Caribbean Community Heads of States and Governments expressed their appreciation for this pre-Summit high-level encounter which permitted the reaffirmation of the reciprocal interests and the strengthening of relations in the diverse areas of action in the bilateral and multilateral fields. They reaffirmed their willingness to promote political, economic, commercial and cultural ties.

3. Within the frame work of the political, economic and commercial, scientific and technical and cultural consultations, the President and the Caribbean Community Heads of States and Governments reiterated their willingness to hold the First Meeting of the Permanent Commission on Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination between Chile and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), during the second half of this year, on a date to be agreed through diplomatic channels.

4. In relation to the area of scientific and technical cooperation, a consensus was expressed that the efforts of horizontal cooperation must continue to expand to benefit all, with an emphasis on the educational field, commerce, agro-industry, international relations and state modernisation. The teaching of Spanish was considered of particular importance given the need for increased communication among the countries of the hemisphere. In this respect, the importance of stimulating cultural exchanges that allow for mutual understanding of the cultures of our peoples was also underlined.

5. It was also agreed that the process of opening the economies, which has been felt throughout the Latin American and Caribbean regions, will contribute to the strengthening of the bonds between the Caribbean Community and the diverse Latin-American economic integration mechanisms.

6. The President and the Caribbean Community Heads of States and Governments underscored the importance of the results and initiatives which will derive from the Second Summit of the Americas. They pledged to support those initiatives which will give rise to a new impetus to the efforts of mutual understanding now being undertaken in the hemisphere.

7. It was also recognised with satisfaction, the different measures taken by Chile and CARICOM Member States, which have resulted in an important increase in Chilean tourism to the Caribbean. Scope for further action was further indicated.

8. It was also noted that the policies regarding the opening of their economies and bilateral cooperation programmes and related activities that began almost six years ago, have played an important role in the promotion of increased commercial flows. In this context, the President and the Caribbean Community Heads of States and Governments agreed to extend their support to the participation in trade and commercial fairs, the establishment of bi-national Chambers of Commerce and to programmes in the areas of Commerce, customs procedures and services in general.

9. The President and the Caribbean Community Heads of States and Governments shared a common view on the role of the private sector in the promotion of commerce and in economic relations. Against that background, they were at one regarding the favourable evaluation of the possibility for private reciprocal investments, among their countries. To that end, they endorsed the promotion of seminars and commercial missions by their respective private sectors.

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