When we established AthenaLab, we faced the need to have an independent study that would allow us to know the geopolitical situation of Chile in a very interesting and complex moment. It was clear that the country has an unusual role given the different instances such as APEC, COP25, TPP + 11, Prosur and the Pacific Alliance. And at the same time, on the international stage, there are challenges to the world order based on rules and a commercial war is waged between the maiun world powers.
In order to know where we stand and thinking that we must have a proactive foreign policy when it comes to protect our national interests, we commissioned the prestigious Henry Jackson Society of London to prepare two geopolitical audits, which compare Chile with the South American and Asia-Pacific region, studies that are available in English and Spanish versions.
While in the first study Chile occupies the second place after Brazil, in the APEC study it’s in eighth place. Both results are explained by the institutional strength of the country that allows it to transform its resources into international influence. The implications are not few.
According to our interpretation, it becomes clear that Chile is destined to be a bridge between Asia-Pacific and South America, given its conditions of political, economic and security stability that gives the country a specific status that allows Chile to ‘hit on his weight’, as the boxers say or to be an even more relevant actor.
Given the above, it seems more than reasonable to design measures to turn Chile into a financial, logistic and communications hub, where Singapore is presented as an interesting model of global connectivity.
Secondly, regarding the Asia-Pacific, it is clear that we have to strengthen our relations with Australia and New Zealand, democratic neighbors and open economies we should look more if we continue improving our performance.
And third, perhaps the most uncomfortable conclusion, is that Chile has been decoupling from South America, not only in commercial terms but also about political processes where the regional tendency is to lose governance. Although the thesis of ‘Chilean exceptionalism’, which derives from its early institutional consolidation, is not new, this condition of ‘singularity’ in South America has rather tended to be strengthened than weakened in recent years and this suggests that Chile’s identity has to redefine more towards a Pacific nation (which is not exclusive).
Audit of geopolitical capability: South America
Assessing the Neighbourhood of Chile | Part One
Audit of geopolitical capability: Asia-Pacific cooperation (APEC)
Assessing the Neighbourhood of Chile | Part Two