OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian exporters will have unrestricted access to Chile's beef market effective immediately, the Canadian government reported May 30.

Chile was among several markets that ceased importing Canadian beef in 2003 on concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Since then, Canada has worked to strengthen existing BSE control measures and introduced new controls to protect human and animal health. The renewed access to Chile's beef market is the result of high-level discussions between both countries and face-to-face meetings with Chilean officials to review and approve the Canadian beef inspection system, according to the Canadian government.

Chile imported $827.7 million worth of beef products in 2012. The Canadian beef industry estimates this renewed access is worth up to $5 million annually with potential growth of up to $10 million in three years.

“Our government is working hard to increase market access for Canada’s world-class beef,” said the Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “Today’s announcement is great news for the Canadian beef industry, which will gain full access to the Chilean market, creating growth and prosperity for Canadian exporters.”