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The time of Chinese investment

The time of Chinese investment

Over the years, Chile and China have built up solid relations of friendship and trust. In 1970, our country became the first in South America to establish diplomatic relations with China and, since then, cultural exchange and trade between the two countries have grown together with their economic and social development, transforming Chile into one of China’s main trading partners in Latin America and China into our single largest trading partner. Chile was also the first country to sign an FTA with China in 2005 and this agreement has served to facilitate bilateral trade, which reached US$31,474 million in 2016. However, in the case of Chinese investment in Chile, the situation has until now been rather different.

Chinese investment in our country has historically been low, despite the more than US$170,000 million in capital that the country exported in 2016, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which represented an increase of 44.1% on the previous year. The good news is that this appears to be changing.

Although it is premature to talk about a massive “landing” of Chinese investment in Chile, the signals we have seen in recent months are grounds for enthusiasm. Good examples of this include the installation of two Chinese banks in the country; the ever more frequent participation of Chinese companies in energy and infrastructure tenders and – more recently – their interest in the Transantiago tender; the prequalification of three Chinese companies in the tender called by InvestChile and CORFO for the industrialization of lithium; the arrival of the Mandarin Oriental chain to administer its first hotel in the region; the acquisition of vineyards from the Bethia group by Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine; and the marked presence of SPIC in the energy sector.

This suggests that we are now seeing a turning point as regards Chinese investment in Chile and this is something that InvestChile wants to encourage and support. That is why, as an agency, we have renewed our commitment to assisting Chinese companies in their arrival to Chile, providing them with services and information in their own language and, in the framework of ChileWeek, organizing a series of activities in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Chinese investment is welcome in our country and InvestChile wants to be its port of entry.

Carlos Álvarez V.

Director InvestChile



Shang Bao Magazine Oct 2017