January saw a trade agreement signed in Santiago between Chile and the UK. This will be welcome news for the wine industry both in the UK and in Chile – which has been built upon frictionless bilateral trade.

The UK currently imports 11.3 million nine litre cases of wine from Chile annually, a volume expected to grow by 2.4% in coming years, making Chile the UK’s second most imported wine. The agreement signed by the UK and Chile ensures that, whatever the eventual result of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the EU, this thriving industry will remain uninterrupted.

Also key to the agreement is the continuation of existing intellectual property (IP) rights. Much of the architecture of IP law in the UK in intertwined with the EU – especially when it comes to trade marks (further detail from our Brexit team is available here). The agreement signed between the UK and Chile also stipulates for the protection of existing IP rights, and continued preferential access to trade in services between the two countries.

While the UK has much left to do to define its post-Brexit trading arrangements with the EU, this agreement ensures that trade can continue uninterrupted between the UK and Chile and the businesses that rely on this trade can continue to grow.

With UK-Chile trade worth an estimated £1.8 billion in 2017, this will be welcome news for businesses on both hemispheres.