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Companies often seek growth opportunities by acquiring a company or merging with one either within its borders or internationally. Successful M&As (mergers and acquisitions) have proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase a company’s sales and/or profitability. It is also a method to push competitors outside the picture and take a larger part of the pie. M&A’s face a long list of challenges when it comes to M&A, but one of the most significant obstacles companies face in the pre-deal stage is government intervention.

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A new study conducted by the international law firm Denton in association with the Mining and Investment in Latin America 2015 conference found that many companies, despite current conditions, have remained optimistic. The survey, which was carried out among mining companies and financiers who are active in Mexico, Central and South America indicated that 66% of those interviewed are somewhat optimistic that there will be an increase in investment over the next 12 month. The mining industry is facing challenges with current economic conditions and rout in the commodity markets, but corporate social responsibility was not regarded to be that high of a concern. Corporate social responsibility is important because due to issues, projects worth billions of dollars have been stalled.

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In the modern business world, domestic markets are simply not enough for businesses striving to reach new customers and serve a growing world. Emerging markets and regions across the globe have provided businesses, small and large, the opportunity to expand their operations beyond domestic markets. Latin America happens to be one of these emerging regions and its growth prospects have caught the attention of businesses worldwide. This week the globalEDGE blog team will give you an in-depth outlook on Latin America and how the region is affecting international business.

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With booming agricultural and mining industries, Latin America has seen economic and human development increase exponentially in the past decade.  While human capital and resources attracted foreign investors for a past few years, lately it has been the plentiful sunshine that catches the eyes of many venture capitalists.

Chile in particular has caught the “green” bug.  While imported fossil fuel accounts for more than 60% of the county’s electricity production, hydroelectric and solar power plants are in high demand by the Chilean government.  With the cost of solar power technology falling, Chile’s quest for affordable renewable energy is not too difficult to obtain.  A trade deal with the world’s leading solar power technology manufacturer, China, is in the works.

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When looking at Latin America, Brazil is usually looked upon as the top country of the region with the strongest emerging economy. However, the country of Chile is leading in another aspect of business. According to the 2011 Latin Business Index, Chile remains the country with the best business environment in Latin America. The index studied 18 countries in Latin America and broadly measured the climate for business in each country with Chile coming in at the top of the list. Five major categories were the focus of the study including the macro environment, corporate environment, globalization, infrastructure levels, and the political environment. There were many business factors in Chile that accounted for its success in each of these categories.

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If you watched the news recently, you would have probably noticed a huge event happening in Chile. In case you haven’t heard, 33 miners went to work in the San Jose Mine (used for the mining of raw copper) for what was supposed to be a ten hour shift. The roof of the mine ended up collapsing on them. Fortunately, after spending 69 days underground, all of the miners have been rescued from their earthen prison safe and sound. Now that this saga has finished its final chapter, perhaps the greatest impact experts in the Mining, Minerals, and Metals industry hope it has was best summed up by Alonso Contreras (a cousin of one of the trapped miners): “Hopefully no one ever again has to do anything like this.”

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“Never waste a good crisis…” Many politicians have said these words touting the benefits of the hysteria and urgency introduced by difficult situations. When people are under extraordinary pressure or panic, decisions are made quickly and with less resistance than under normal circumstances. In Chile, miners had been trapped a half mile below the surface for 69 days, thanks to a collapse in one of the mining shafts. This has generated news coverage around the world and over 1,000 reporters on the scene to share updates to their audiences. For some, this real-life drama demonstrates the human ability to endure difficult circumstances. For others, this creates a commercial opportunity.

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Just over six years ago, a “state of the art” free trade agreement (FTA) was signed between the United States and Chile. Since that time, a nearly perfect model of bilateral trade has ensued. In fact, the projected growth between the two countries was between 18% and 52%. Would you believe that the actual growth over this period is over 345%?! Free trade agreements have often been a source of debate because of the potential environmental and human rights impacts they have had in the past. How has this FTA impacted each country?

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In the month of June, Chile saw a 22 percent jump in wine exports. This could be due to a rebounding economy. It could also have to do with the fact that Chile is producing more wine than ever, and at a better quality than it ever has. Given the positive direction that Chile’s wine industry is heading, what implications does this have for the economy and other businesses in Chile?