Renewing their countries' raw materials partnership: Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Chile's President Gabriel Boric
Kay Nietfeld / dpa
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has offered Chile help in processing its lithium deposits.
"In the global competition of the 21st century, it is not enough to simply transport raw materials away - without considering the environment, without reasonable working conditions, without adding value locally," said Scholz, according to the speech transcript at the German-Chilean Economic Forum in Santiago de Chile.
The main aim is to refine the light metal, which is important for high-tech products, in Chile as well.
The background is that China has so far imported the raw material lithium from all over the world on a large scale and then exported it again as a refined product.
The Aurubis metals group agreed a letter of intent for closer cooperation with the Chilean group Codelco, the world's largest copper producer.
Scholz referred to the necessary environmental and human rights standards, sustainable mining and German help in training specialists: “Because that is the prerequisite for raw materials not only being mined here in Chile, but also being processed.” The Chancellor is accompanied by around a dozen German company representatives.
Both governments renewed the raw materials partnership.
The supply of lithium, which is needed for batteries, for example, or copper, was also a topic of his previous visit to Argentina.
“Germany and Europe are very interested in diversifying our supply relationships,” stressed the Chancellor, referring to dependencies on China.
Chile is a "desirable partner" for Germany.
Cooperations with Siemens Energy and Porsche
Scholz also referred to the cooperation on climate-neutral drives and cooperation in southern Chile.
There, Siemens Energy and Porsche are involved in the first commercial plant for the production of e-fuels north of Puenta Arenas.
E-fuels are synthetic fuels that are produced exclusively with renewable energies.
The federal government is funding the project.
A new Chilean-German economic council is to promote future investments in key sectors such as renewable energies, green hydrogen, the chemical industry, transport and logistics.
Aurubis and Codelco underpinned the German-Chilean raw materials cooperation with an agreement on closer cooperation in copper mining and processing.
The aim is to ensure more sustainability in mining, processing and recycling.
Memorial to victims of Colonia Dignidad
In Chile, Scholz also promised the government of President Gabriel Boric support in building a memorial for the victims of the former German sect settlement Colonia Dignidad.
In the settlement founded in 1961, people were raped, tortured and killed during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
The settlement was founded by former Wehrmacht corporal and lay preacher Paul Schäfer who had fled Germany.
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