Chile is establishing offices in Japan, Germany, and the United States in order to attract foreign investment across a range of sectors, including technology services.
The offices, to be run by InvestChile, the country’s investment promotion agency, will supply potential investors with information and guide them through the process of setting up operations.
Jorge Rodríguez Grossi, Chile’s Minister of Economy, has told German media group DW that his country is also seeking to reinforce its R&D infrastructure and ease the immigration process for skilled foreign workers.
“Today our country is a magnet for talent in the region,” the minister claimed, adding that the number of foreign workers seeking work visas shot up by 381% between 2005 and 2016.
The decision to widen the role of InvestChile was apparently prompted by declining FDI in the past few years, which tumbled from US$24 billion to US$11,000 billion annually from 2014 to 2016, according to UNCTAD.
This trend was largely due to decreasing demand for mineral resources: Mining activity declined 25% last year, reducing the sector’s economic contributions by 70%.
The South American country is known for a stable political climate, and is more or less free of drug-related violence, unlike many of its neighbors in the reigon.
Considering the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, Chile offers the best business environment in South America. In addition, it has more than 26 commercial agreements that have eased its trade with 64 major economies across the world.
But technology firms in the country are heavily dependent on foreign workers. Chile invests barely 0.4% of its GDP in R&D, one of the lowest among the OECD countries.