What will the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Chile be like?
The German head of government will travel to three South American countries to strengthen political and economic relations
Cristián Torresfrom Santiago, Chile
Alberto Pezzali/Pool via REUTERS
This Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Chile and a meeting with President Gabriel Boric is already scheduled. Chile is part of the countries that Scholz will visit, also passing through Brazil and Argentina. Its purpose is to strengthen relations between these countries with the European power.
The last time an authority from Germany visited Chile was exactly ten years ago, specifically in 2013, when former Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the CELAC and the European Union summit, as a state visit, times in which she was received by former President Sebastián Piñera.
Scholz's itinerary in Chile
In a new context, now with Olaf Scholz at the head of the German government and Gabriel Boric at Chile, a series of meetings will be heldamong members of the German delegation with representatives of the Chilean government and businessmen.
The current German head of government will hold a first meeting with Boric, and they will participate in an activity at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. A building located in Santiago, dedicated to commemorating the victims of Human Rights violations during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
Later, both leaders will hold a bilateral meeting at the Palacio de La Moneda, where they will later offer a press conference, as confirmed by the German embassy in Chile. Scholz's activities in Chile will continue on Monday, January 30, with a meeting with Chilean and German businessmen.
FILE – A Leopard 2 tank moves forward during a press demonstration event Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, in Münster, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
The moment Scholz arrives in South America
After the departure of Angela Merkel, considered one of the most charismatic German leaders, the Social Democratic leader overcame criticism, shed the title of “boring candidate” and won the elections, later forming a coalition with the Greens and Liberals. Although it has not been an easy coexistence, in the thirteen months of his management, Scholz had to assume positions regarding the war in Ukraine and its numerous consequences. His level of influence has increased because his country is one of the leading actors in the conflict. In this context and with such status, Sholz arrives in Chile.
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South America and Chile Strategy
For Olaf Scholz, “Latin America has incredible potential”. He said it in 2013, when he was still mayor of Hamburg, before a trip to South America. Latin America has been praised for decades as an equal partner by Germany, with whom it shares the same values and interests.
The economic analyst, Wilfredo Araya, points to lithium, as the main focus of business between Germany and Chile. “Olaf Scholz's visit to Chile is to open new spaces for public policies, collaboration and action by both States. He seeks to formally encourage investment development in the lithium industry. There is already a presence of companies from Germany that specialize in lithium exploitation, and they have promoted the use of water in desert areas. The meeting with the President of Chile and the businessmen will go hand in hand precisely with how Germany can provide technical infrastructure and with all the development capacity that this entails”, he declares.
Interests that began to be defined in an economic area of momentum in Chile such as lithium. Both countries founded the “Hydrogen Task Force” in 2021, a plan that was born as part of the Chilean-German Energy Association. The plan is for Chile to cover three to four times Germany's estimated green hydrogen import requirement by 2050.