Maritime Focus to strengthen links between Chile and UK

  • HRH The Princess Royal to support mission
  • Visit coincides with 200th anniversary of Chilean Navy founding

HRH The Princess Royal will support a UK trade mission to Chile later this month. The Princess will travel in the company of her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

The Princess Royal, who is Patron of Maritime UK, will attend a series of high-profile events throughout the UK-Chile Maritime Focus, held from 28 November until 7 December. With a spotlight shone on maritime links between the two countries, the Focus will celebrate existing relations and bring maritime businesses together to forge new partnerships.

The UK-Chile Maritime Focus is held at a pivotal time in the negotiations on the UK's departure from the EU. It was recently reported that a new Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Chile would be agreed promptly, with the Chilean Foreign Minister saying that a deal would be agreed the ‘moment Brexit takes place’, and the visit will see discussions on future relations firmly on the agenda. Current trade between the two countries is worth £1.8 billion.

Maritime UK’s Vice Chair, The Lord Mountevans, will join The Princess Royal at events in Chile as President of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers:

“We’re delighted to be visiting Chile to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Navy. But more than that, we’re celebrating the strength of relations between our two maritime nations. The UK and Chile are steadfast maritime partners, as demonstrated by the breadth and depth of activity across our visit. From naval to technology, to services and marine science, our two maritime sectors are already working closely together, but there’s more to do. And that’s what our visit is all about.”

Maritime UK National Council member and SMI Chief Executive, John Murray said:

“British companies work exceptionally closely with their Chilean counterparts across many areas, but particularly in marine science and in support of their navy. We are looking forward to promoting the UK’s maritime expertise in high-quality and bespoke ship design, marine equipment and integrated systems.”

Maritime UK Chair-elect, Harry Theochari, is Global Head of Transport at Norton Rose Fulbright:

“The UK is the world’s leading centre for the provision of legal services to the international maritime community. English law is applied to shipping disputes far more widely than the law of any other country. We believe there is huge scope to deepen relations and in turn support the development of the Chilean maritime sector.”

The Princess Royal has visited Chile on two previous occasions, in 1991 and 2007, when she had engagements in the cities of Santiago, Valparaíso and Punta Arenas.

About the visit, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Jamie Bowden, said:

“We are delighted that The Princess Royal will visit Chile in November. We will be celebrating the relationship of extraordinary warmth between our countries that goes back to the earliest days of the Republic. 1818 was not only the year of the foundation of the Chilean Navy but also of the arrival here of Admiral Lord Cochrane. Her Royal Highness will also attend various events to commemorate this historical moment and the links between our Navies that began with Lord Cochrane’s arrival.”

Key events across the focus period:

  • The 11th Chilean International Naval and Maritime Exhibition (EXPONAVAL) in Valparaiso will feature a UK pavilion, organised by Maritime UK member SMI and the UK government. British companies exhibiting include: Atlas Elektronik, Defence Equipment Sales Authority, Griffon Hoverwork, IrvinGQ, Leafield Logistics & Technical Services and Leonardo. The four day event is sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Defence and the Chilean Navy. It is the major naval exhibition for Latin America on the Pacific coast and will focus on naval defence and maritime security issues and equipment procurement.
  • The British Ambassador, Jamie Bowden, will host a reception at the Residence in Santiago, with The Princess Royal. Guests include British and Chilean maritime industry and government leaders.
  • Celebrations around the 200th anniversary will include a military parade and regatta. The Royal Navy’s HMS Montrose is visiting Valparaiso and will welcome UK and Chilean maritime leaders aboard.
  • The UK Maritime Law Seminar, organised by the Ministry of Justice, will match UK businesses with international Chilean companies that have involvement with the maritime sector. It will include panel-led seminars where legal professionals will have the opportunity to present on the benefits of English law and arbitration/dispute settlement in the maritime sector. The UK is the undisputed global leader in maritime professional services, with unmatched expertise in vessel chartering, insurance, legal, financial and educational services. British companies attending include: Kennedys, Essex Court Chambers, Mays Brown and Norton Rose Fulbright.
  • The Maritime Symposium, organised by Maritime UK member, Petrospot, offers platform for international delegates to meet and network with key Chilean shipowners, ship brokers, bunker suppliers, storage and port operators, agents and other maritime organisations.
  • The RRS Discovery will be in Chile during the period. The ship is part of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the United Kingdom’s centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences and one of the top 3 oceanographic institutions in the world. It is renowned for its ability to invent cutting-edge technology and to carry out world leading science on a global scale.