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InvestChile aims to attract high-impact investment in order to grow the Chilean economy and diversify its production and export base.
In 2009, when the US agricultural company Pioneer wanted a new center in Latin America to develop corn seed hybrids for its customers worldwide, it chose Chile for of its climate and the support it received from InvestChile.
“The unbeatable natural and climatic conditions of the Azapa Valley (in Northern Chile) together with the important support of InvestChile made us decide to set up one of Pioneer’s most important centers in the world here,” says Germán Alessandri R., External Affairs Manager for Semillas Pioneer Chile Ltd.
The InvestChile program, a program of CORFO, provided Pioneer with critical guidance during the evaluation and development of their business, not just helping the company collect needed information but granting financial incentives as well.
Today Pioneer’s new research facility near the port city of Arica provides 96 permanent and 210 temporary jobs for professionals and technicians in the area.
Created in 2000 InvestChile provides a range of assistance to foreign companies interested in locating in Chile. InvestChile promotes foreign investment in specific economic areas, such as the food industry, biotechnology, mining supplies, offshoring and manufacturing and assembly sectors.
It also promotes Chile as an attractive place for commerce, investment and tourism. InvestChile has offices in the US, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, India, and China to gather business opportunities of every kind. In the investment area, the agency detects opportunities (or are contacted by potential investors), and then they transfer this information to Chile’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO) or to the Foreign Investment Committee.
InvestChile offers potential investors services and incentives including several lines of subsidies. Its Food Industry Investment Attraction Program, for example, supports food industry entrepreneurs in all stages of production with public funding and significant investment available for technology transfers.
The Mining Suppliers investment program is set up to attract foreign investors that have an interest in settling in Chile. Chile has taken significant steps to incorporate biotechnology into its economy including a series of initiatives aimed at biotechnology companies abroad, a new regulatory framework and economic incentives.
Meanwhile, manufacturing and assembly companies are supported with expert consultancy. InvestChile can arrange meetings with Chilean counterparts, visits to industrial parks, as well as arrange contacts with trade associations and potential supply vendors. Foreign companies visiting the country are provided transportation and a three-day stay. ●
Private efforts work, too
The private sector also works to encourage foreign investment in Chile. One notable example is Chile Day, an event that has been held annually since its inception in New York in 2000, but was held in London in 2011.
“We promote Chile as a highly attractive place for foreign investment and as a funds management platform for Latin America while strengthening relations between Chile’s capital markets and our global partners,” says Alfredo Ergas, Chief Financial Officer of the Enersis Group, one of the largest privately-owned multinational electric power corporations in Latin America.
“Chile has a very stable and developed financial system, with strong liquidity and important growth, this added with the political situation makes Chile an attractive place to invest,” Ergas says.
The 2011 Chile Day event took place in June in London rather than as usual in New York. The Chilean delegation was headed by Finance Minister Felipe Larraín and members of InBest Chile, a private nonprofit corporation that organizes the event and which is chaired by Ergas.
About 240 Chileans attended the event, including representatives of issuers, banks, pension funds, stock exchanges, brokers, insurance companies, law firms, auditors, rating agencies and other institutions.
Representatives of the British financial community met with Chilean financiers and attended panels on opportunities for investors in Chile. Panels focused on mining investment, taxation and the advantages of Santiago as a capital markets platform for Latin America.
Chilean asset managers and investment bankers also discussed the financial integration of Chile, Colombia and Peru.