Chile Trade Leader 2002

Pic: Latin Trade

During 2002, Lagos forged free trade agreements with the European Union, Costa Rica and El Salvador, as well as an automotive accord with Argentina to cut tariffs to zero by 2006. Last December Lagos signed a trade pact with the United States.

At age 16, Lagos chose by default to study law at the Universidad de Chile. "I was no good at math, had no talent for biology to study medicine, nor architecture …”

In 1988, Lagos turned to the camera during a live TV program , pointed his finger at General Augusto Pinochet and lambasted him for reneging on a promise to step down before a vote that could extend military rule another eight years. "You promise the country eight more years, with torture, assassination and violation of human rights. To me, it seems inadmissible that a Chilean is so ambitious for power as to pretend to hold it for 25 years. "Only months later, Chile said ‘no’ to Pinochet and the transition to democracy began.

The free trade deals with South Korea and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are very promising for the future and prompted his Trade Award 2002 recognition. Furthermore a US$3 billion health care reform is planned for 2003.

Lagos’ biggest challenge is the fact that he has locked horns with the opposition Congress over such issues as health care and water reforms.
Adapted from Latin Trade (

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