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President Bachelet heads international launch of InvestChile

“This visit represents an opportunity to strengthen our collaboration and I would like to invite all companies to invest in Chile. We have prosperous opportunities in sectors that, just to mention a few, include mining, energy, infrastructure, tourism and the food industry,” said President Bachelet in Paris.

President Michelle Bachelet headed the official international launch of InvestChile in the Chilean Embassy in Paris where she was accompanied by representatives of the public and private sectors.

In her speech, President Bachelet pointed out that, over the past 25 years, Chile has successfully integrated with the most competitive markets. “We are an open economy with an extensive network of trade agreements: 25 free trade agreements with 64 countries that represent 94% of Chile’s exports and over 60% of global GDP, We are the world’s leading copper producer and have become an important exporter of agribusiness products while we have also improved our infrastructure and services industries. Inflation and unemployment are low and Chile has emerged as a trading and investment center for the region,” she said.

She added that, in this context, “we need to improve our existing industries and develop new and innovative ones. We also have to increase our productivity, integrate into global and regional value chains and continue to negotiate and update our trade agreements, including our Association Agreement with the EU, in order to create new business opportunities.”

She also explained that “another challenge is to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and, in particular, high-quality investment that will help us close gaps and address challenges. FDI has been key for our economic success, as I have mentioned, and competitiveness, the contribution of new resources, technological development, jobs and specialized knowledge as well as around 15% of the growth of employment in Chile since 2010 are related to a higher inflow of FDI.”

Chile’s Minister of Economy, Economic Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, noted that “openness is a key element of our strategy” of moving from being “passive” to “proactive” with instruments to help companies invest in Chile. He also emphasized that Chile’s challenge is not only to generate more growth but also to create a fairer society.

The director of InvestChile, Vicente Mira, indicated that the institution was born with the will to change the country’s investment attraction strategy, taking into account competition from other Latin American countries as well as the need to diversify the Chilean economy.

President Bachelet pointed out that France is Chile’s fifth largest source of foreign investment in the EU, accounting for an inflow of over US$1,700 million between 1974 and 2015, with French companies investing in sectors that include electricity, gas and water, food and beverages, retail and chemical products

“They trust our country because of its institutional stability, responsible economic management and broad network of free trade agreements,” she indicated. “Chile’s longstanding political and economic stability, its transparency and competitiveness and its business prospects position our country as an excellent destination for foreign investment in Latin America and one of the leading destinations worldwide. Due to its infrastructure and connectivity, it also serves as a platform from which to do business in the rest of the region.”

In its World Investment Report 2015, UNCTAD ranked Chile as the 11th largest recipient of FDI in 2014, with an inflow of US$23,000 million, positioning it second in Latin America after Brazil.   Similarly, in the Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016, published by the World Economic Forum, Chile took 35th place out of 140 economies, ahead of all other Latin American countries.

“Our  new Foreign Direct Investment Law was published in June last year and replaces the previous decree, establishing guarantees for foreign investors and offering them the possibility of signing new investment contracts on terms and conditions similar to those negotiated in the past. In addition, the law offers a locked-in maximum tax rate of 44.45% for up to four years as from 1 January 2016,” she reported.

This new law, she added, “created the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency – InvestChile – which we are launching internationally today to replace the previous Foreign Investment Committee.”

InvestChile is responsible for promoting Chile globally as a destination for foreign direct investment, serving as a bridge between the interests of overseas investors and the business opportunities Chile offers and providing world-class services that are in line with the country’s economic development policies.

“This visit represents an opportunity to strengthen our collaboration and I would like to invite all companies to invest in Chile. We have prosperous opportunities in sectors that, just to mention a few, include mining, energy, infrastructure, tourism and the food industry. Our government is already developing initiatives in many of these areas which means that we are going to require new private investment in key sectors of our economy,” indicated President Bachelet.

Source: President’s Press Office/InvestChile