"EU and Chile Sign Historic Deal to Develop Sustainable Critical Raw Materials Supply Chains"
In a historic move, the European Commission and Chile have inked a deal aimed at cultivating sustainable supply chains for critical raw materials. This agreement was secured during the recent Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit (EU-CELAC) held in Brussels.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was officially signed by Commissioner Thierry Breton and Alberto van Klaveren Stork, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile. This new partnership reinforces the relationship between the EU and Chile concerning sustainable critical raw materials supply chains.
This initiative aligns with the EU's Global Gateway strategy and Critical Raw Materials Act, catalysing cooperation in this important sector. The partnership aspires to shape a competitive and sustainable industry around critical raw materials, potentially creating significant job opportunities in the mining sector and benefiting local communities.
On this occasion, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission, expressed her delight, saying, "It is a great pleasure for me to witness the signing of this partnership for the development of sustainable raw materials value chains between the EU and Chile. The Global Gateway will be one of the main drivers of our evolving partnership. We are like-minded, we share the same values, and we are partners of choice to become key global players in the clean energy and digital transition."
Critical raw materials play a pivotal role in numerous sectors, including digital, aerospace, defence, and especially in global decarbonisation efforts such as electric vehicle manufacturing. With demand for these indispensable resources projected to surge in the coming years, it is vital to establish resilient value chains.
At present, Europe heavily depends on imports for these resources, which leaves the EU vulnerable to disruptions in supply chains and market volatility. The newly signed agreement identifies five primary areas of focus to guarantee robust, long-term value chains, including sustainable raw materials value chain integration, cooperation on research and innovation, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria alignment, infrastructure development, and capacity building.
To ensure this new partnership's success, the EU and Chile will develop an operational roadmap outlining the cooperative actions to be undertaken by relevant members from EU Member States and Chile. This roadmap will be bolstered by the EU’s Global Gateway Investment Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean.
This latest move continues the EU’s ongoing efforts to forge partnerships for sustainable critical raw materials, adding to established connections with countries such as Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Namibia, and Argentina. This sets a precedent for future global collaborations around sustainable raw materials, pushing the frontier for a more resilient and sustainable global economy.