New Delhi– India and Chile on Tuesday agreed to expand their bilateral preferential trade agreement (PTA) with both sides offering to lower or eliminate tariffs on a number of items traded with each other, an official statement said.

“Under the expanded PTA, Chile has offered concessions to India on 1,798 tariff lines with margin of preference (MoP) ranging from 30 per cent to 100 per cent and India has offered concessions to Chile on 1,031 tariff lines at 8-digit level with MoP ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent,” said a Commerce Ministry statement.

The agreement was signed in a meeting here between Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia and the South American country’s Ambassador to India Andres Barbe Gonzalez, the statement said.

“India’s export basket with Chile is diversified and keeping in view the wide variety of tariff lines offered by Chile, the expanded PTA would immensely benefit India,” it added.

Signed in March 2006, and coming into force with effect from August 2007, the original PTA had India offering 178 tariff lines to Chile, with the margin of preference ranging from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. Chile meanwhile offered 296 tariff lines to India with MoP ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.

India’s bilateral trade with Chile stood at $2.64 billion during 2015-16, making it India’s third largest trading partner among the Latin American and Caribbean Nations (LAC) grouping, the statement said.

Exports to Chile are diverse and consist of transport equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, yarn of polyester fibres and tyres and tubes, among others, it said.

Among major import items from Chile are mineral ores like copper ore and concentrates, iodine, copper anodes, molybdenum ores and concentrates, apart from metal scrap, inorganic chemicals, and pulp and waste paper, it added.

The Indian government said this expansion would be an important landmark in India-Chile relations “and consolidate the traditional fraternal relations that have existed between India and LAC countries”.