The next overseas frontier for Canadas banks Chile

OTTAWA — The Harper government says it has upgraded its free trade deal with Chile, including obtaining greater access for Canadian banks to the south American country’s financial services market.As well, the upgrade in the 16-year-old treaty includes new rules on government procurement, customs procedures and dispute settlement.Trade Minister Ed Fast said ahead of a formal announcement that the financial services deal will ensure Canada’s banks, insurance firms and other business will enjoy enhanced access in Chile.The financial sector represents about 16% of Chile’s gross domestic product.Ottawa says it estimates trade with Chile boosts Canada’s economy by about $250 million annually, a relatively small number.Canadian Press

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