As the benefits of international trade increase, many countries search around the globe for reliable markets that provide vast opportunities for exports and foreign investments. Over the past years, Latin America has proven to be a very important and dependable market for U.S. exporters. One of the key markets in the region lies in the country of Chile. The Chilean economy offers numerous opportunities to exporters in many different economic sectors. Being one of the most stable democracies in Latin America, Chile is an ideal marketplace for companies looking to grow overseas.
Like other countries, Chile is recovering from the global financial situation but its economy is improving at a healthy and steady rate. Commodity prices are close to record highs which include copper, a resource that accounts for more than 50 percent of Chile’s export revenues. Gross domestic product growth was about 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010, showing that as of recent the Chilean economy has improved quite dramatically.
Chile has a small manufacturing base and its main exports are raw materials, wine, agricultural products, and processed food. There is a shortage of machinery and equipment in Chile to mine, harvest, and transport these exports. This provides foreign producers with an opportunity to sell their technology and equipment to Chile. When a company begins doing business in Chile, it can also readily access other major markets in Latin America including Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Alongside these economic factors, Chile is also a safe and tranquil place to do business. There are favorable exchange rates providing another incentive for businesses. In Chile, imports and exports go in and out of the country very efficiently with low or no tariffs at all. With its small domestic market, Chile lives and dies by free trade making it one of the most open economies in the world.
As Chile’s economy continues to grow, its market will greatly increase in importance for exporters around the world. Mitch Larsen, senior U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service officer in Chile, recently sat down and spoke with Doug Barry of the Trade Information Center about the many opportunities for businesses in Chile. To find out more about Chile, you can read the full interview here at the International Trade Administration website.