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Government presents InvestChile, its new foreign investment promotion agency

President Bachelet received from the Economy Minister the foreign investment promotion and attraction strategy to be implemented by the new agency which will play an active role in seeking overseas capital, giving priority to the development of strategic sectors.

This morning, the Minister of Economy, Economic Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, presented InvestChile, the country’s new foreign investment promotion agency, to President Michelle Bachelet. The new agency will play an active role in seeking overseas capital under the new foreign investment promotion and attraction strategy, approved by a council of ministers that also includes the ministers of Finance, Foreign Relations, Energy, Mining, Public Works and Agriculture.

“Today, we have a new institution, InvestChile. But, as well as an agency, we also have a clear and far more proactive strategy for attracting foreign investment. We hope there will be many more cases of companies that establish operations in our country, contributing technology, best practices and more demanding standards that foster our insertion into value chains,” said President Bachelet.

She also highlighted foreign investment as one of the keys to increasing the country’s competitiveness. “Our aspiration is that, when we talk about attracting investors, it is those investments that are related to our national priorities. That is the principal focus of this strategy. InvestChile will open offices in key markets such as Japan, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom and there will be priority areas in sectors that allow us to increase the dynamism of the economy and diversify it,” she said.

Economy Minister Luis Felipe Céspedes indicated that “priority will be given to sectors such as healthy foods where Chile has tremendous potential and we want to offer more sophisticated products. Other key areas will be mining suppliers, where we want to move from exporting copper to exporting mining, and technology sectors in which Chile also has great potential.”

Minister Céspedes added that “Chile has all the conditions that competitive economies have to attract capital and foreign investment; it is a reliable country, with solid institutions, unique macroeconomic stability, financial stability and an unparalleled level of commercial openness to the rest of the world. We have trade agreements with countries that account for 85% of what the world produces and that is, without doubt, a tremendous attraction.”

The director of InvestChile, Vicente Mira, pointed out that “this strategy puts Chile up to date as regards investment attraction, focusing on sectors where we have competitive advantages and also where we see gaps in competitiveness.” He added that “we now have an agency with the capacity to provide world-class services to foreign investors seeking opportunities in Chile as well as those that already have operations here and are thinking about reinvesting.”

Strategy and functions

InvestChile will lead an active quest to attract specific overseas companies to the country and will support them in their prospection and installation processes. In addition, one of its functions will be to promote reinvestment by companies already established in Chile so that they develop new projects and deepen their ties with local producers, particularly smaller companies and those in the country’s different regions.

In line with best international practices and the economic development policy defined by the Economy Ministry, InvestChile will focus on promoting and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in five sectors that have been identified as priorities: suppliers and services for a virtuous mining industry, a sophisticated food industry, sustainable tourism, energy and logistics infrastructure for development, and exportable technological services.

The services offered by InvestChile will include the provision of general information about the advantages of investing in Chile, specialized sector-specific advice, statistical information, field visits, management of schedules of meetings, legal advice, information about incentives available at both the national and regional level, advice on installation of the company and the channeling of enquiries and concerns to other government agencies.

The agency, which will coordinate both regional foreign investment attraction efforts and the investment attraction work of the government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO) and its ProChile export promotion agency, will also have a direct presence in four priority markets – the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan – in order to effectively promote investment from these countries.

The strategy was prepared and the new agency was established under Law 20.848. Promulgated by President Bachelet in June 2015, this repealed Decree Law (DL) 600 and ordered replacement of the existing Foreign Investment Committee.

Investment attraction experts from the OECD and international investment promotion agencies provided advice on the design of InvestChile.