Nearly 12,100 kilometers separate the cities of Frankfurt and Santiago de Chile. Companies from Hessen may soon find themselves traveling to this region more often than before since the South American country set up an office to serve as a contact point for investors in Frankfurt.
Chile intends to make greater efforts to attract foreign investments, especially in the areas of renewable energy, technology, innovation and business start-ups. The state agency InvestChile has opened its European branch office in Frankfurt. Its aim is to provide targeted support for potential investors from Europe in the areas of service, networking and navigation.
In 2016, the majority of foreign investments to Chile were made in the areas of energy and mining. Currently, two thirds of Latin America’s solar energy are generated in Chile. However, as Carlos Álvarez, director of InvestChile points out, the country offers attractive opportunities for innovation and investment in many other sectors as well, including the food industry, technology and services for mining, tourism and digital services for export.
Chile is well known for holding an abundance of valuable natural resources. Over half of the world’s lithium reserves as well as nearly 30% of all existing copper inventories are found in the northern part of the country, in the Atacama Desert. Chile’s Minister of Economics Jorge Rodríguez highlights the importance of a diversified economy: “Further developing and refining the structure of investments coming into Chile is one of our government’s top priorities.”
In 2003, Chile, as a member of the OECD, concluded a trade agreement with the EU. “The lion’s share of European investments stem from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands,” notes the minister. “Chile was the first country in Latin America to become an EU trade partner.” According to all relevant business rankings, Chile is the leader in Latin America when it comes to competitiveness. Chile’s very own start-up accelerator program has now been copied by 50 other countries.
Chile is often described as a door-opener to other (regional) markets: the country has 26 trade agreements with over 60 partner countries across the globe. One agreement worth noting is the Pacific Alliance, which grants investors access to over 200 million consumers across Latin America. Along with its branch office in Frankfurt, InvestChile also recently opened offices in San Francisco and in Tokyo.