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In meetings with Alibaba, Amazon and Tesla: The government’s strategy to attract the foreign investment lost during the pandemic

15 April, 2021

InvestChile has developed a five-point plan to search for initiatives that could be developed in Chile, which includes meetings with leading companies from at least 13 different foreign nations.

2020 was a complicated year, with the pandemic strongly affecting different economic variables. One of them was foreign investment, which, according to Central Bank figures, fell by 32% to a total of US$8.5 billion. While GDP growth forecasts for 2021 are auspicious at between 6% and 7%, the government does not want to rely solely on this prediction, and has therefore developed a strategy to seek foreign investment projects.

InvestChile Managing Director Andrés Rodríguez states that, despite the fall in foreign investment in Chile, InvestChile’s portfolio of projects grew by 25% last year, reaching a total of 500 projects worth US$22 billion.

With the implementation of the government’s new strategy, the amount of investments this year is expected to exceed US$25 billion. This figure includes initiatives in different stages of progress (prospection, setting up, execution, etc.), and therefore differs from the figures published by the Central Bank.

To meet this goal, a five-point strategy has been developed to attract new investment projects during the first half of the year.

  • Invest in Chile Now: The objective of this first point is to proactively seek foreign companies that are not established in Chile but have the potential to invest here. According to InvestChile, “This will be carried out through business intelligence and include a tailor-made value proposition.”

To this end, the agency is holding more than 30 meetings with leading companies from Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia, France, Canada and Mexico. They include renowned companies like Baidú ( China’s equivalent of Google), TechMahindra, Alibaba, Amazon, Netflix and Tesla.

  • Focus on the Middle East: The Middle East is among the geographic and economic areas with the greatest potential but until now it has not been the target of an ongoing promotion campaign. Therefore, a series of meetings got underway in February with investment funds from this region that manage more than US$2 trillion. A plan of action has already been drawn up in order to generate investment in areas such as the food industry, energy and infrastructure. This has aroused genuine interest in further exploring the opportunities that Chile offers.


  • E-Roadshows: Between now and June, 35 remote promotional activities will be taking place in industries such as energy, finance, infrastructure, technology and food, with a focus on countries such as the United States, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Colombia, Czech Republic, France and Brazil. So far, 13 meetings have been held. Special focus has been put on promoting the electricity transmission portfolio (particularly the Kimal-Lo Aguirre HVDC Line in a total of US$1.5 billion), public works concessions (more than US$9.3 billion in 2021-2022), and jointly promoting opportunities in green hydrogen with the Energy Ministry.


  • E-Promotion: The fourth point is a digital marketing strategy using “inbound marketing” for investment promotion, which involves attracting potential customers through the creation of high-value content. In the first quarter, the agency contacted 680 companies through 21 campaigns and other focused digital actions in markets such as the US, Brazil, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Canada.


  • Reinvestment: The fifth point is focused on expanding the operations of foreign companies that are already installed in Chile, with the goal that they continue developing their projects within the country. InvestChile gives the example of Mexican company Bimbo (Ideal) setting up a new distribution center in Santiago and its plans in Chillán in 2022 – with investment totaling more than US$55 million. Another example is American company Equifax’s expansion of its Santiago Development Center, where 600 Chilean professionals will provide technological services to 24 countries. A final example is the expansion of American medical technology firm Becton, Dickinson and Company’s Shared Services Center, which already has 200 workers providing services throughout Latin America.

Source: Pulso.