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Chile: A partner in Latin America

Posted: 11th January 2019

With exports valued at more than $68 billion USD, and leading the exports in more than 20 products, Chile is the top country of the region in the business and competitive environment, and therefore an important platform and an excellent destination for Scottish businesses.

This country in the South East of Latin America produces and offers a huge range of products and services to the world. Boasting a unique geography whose borders include the Andes Mountain Range, the Pacific Ocean, the Atacama Desert and the glaciers of the South, Chile is also characterised by its dynamic, thriving and modern society, which stands out in the regional context.

The production of agriculture and wine, the offerings of fish and forestry; the mining, chemical and IT industries, the manufacturing of plastics, the creative and audio-visual, management and business products and services; are focused on responding opportunely and appropriately to the new market demands.

The free trade agreements and the trade agreements signed with 64 countries allow Chile to benefit with access to a market that represents 63% of the world population, equivalent to 86.3% of the global GDP.

Chile represents an excellent opportunity for Scottish businesses and investors looking to Latin America to expand their businesses. The country holds important opportunities in sectors such as energy, food, global tourism services, financial services and mining.


Millions of people around the world purchase products that come from Chile every day, allowing our country to become a world class exporter. Today, the country leads considerably in the export of copper minerals and their ores, refined copper cathodes, molybdenum minerals, iodine, lithium carbonate, mineral fertilisers, potassium nitrates, chemical wood pulp, wood moulding, algae for industrial use, as well as fresh grapes, fresh blueberries, dried and fresh cherries, dried apples, fresh and frozen salmon and trout fillets, mussels and sea urchin.

But Chilean exports do not only comprise of goods. In services, Chile is an important international actor with exports greater than $10 billion USD. This sector has been progressively increasing in the area of exports. The rapid development the country has experienced in the last few decades has allowed it to gain knowledge and experience in the exportation of a wide range of services, from cinema and videogames to environmental services.

Today, Chile is going to great lengths to increase its development of innovation and generate exports in this field. One of its goals is to become an Innovation Hub within Latin America. For this, the public and private sector have joined together to generate opportunities for the development of innovative businesses that stand out in the world.


At present, the country has become a leading exporter within Latin America, recognised for being a large receiver of Foreign Direct Investment. Chile is the first South American economy in the OECD, and is competitive with solid foundations and sustained policies, which have allowed it to have the best Human Development Index in the region, with a global ranking of 38.

In 2017, Chile attracted 199 projects from international companies, equivalent to $7,700 million USD and more than 10,000 jobs. Out of these projects, 31 have already become a reality, generating more than $900 million USD in investment.

In addition, the country has become an excellent destination for astronomy, hosting the largest telescopes in the world installed in the Atacama Desert, and recognised for having one of the clearest skies on the planet. Chile possesses 40% of the world’s astronomical observation. There one can find many projects such as Alma, Gemini Sur, Paranal and La Campana which not only attract scientific development to Chile, but also tourism, and businesses in the tourism sector.


Chile has some spectacular destinations which attract millions of people each year. With the eighth wonder of the world in the South, the Torres del Paine National Park, and the driest desert in the extreme north, in 2017 it received 6.4 million tourists, mostly from Argentina, Brazil, the US and Europe.

Santiago, the capital, the ski centres in the central region, the Lake District in the South and the beaches, as well as the Port of Valparaíso, a World Heritage Site, are the most popular destinations with tourists. Chile offers excellent services in hospitality, gastronomy and visits.

Also in 2018, the country was named best destination in the world for adventure tourism for the third year running at the World Travel Awards, known as the Oscars of the tourism sector, placing itself above the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Ecuador.




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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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