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InvestChile opens offices in the USA and Germany

9 December, 2022
  • Beatriz Herrera and Vanessa Séverin were selected as investment attachés for Washington D.C. (USA) and Berlin (Germany), respectively.  

As part of the measures to encourage investment that were introduced  by Chilean President Gabriel Boric under the «We Invest in Chile Plan», InvestChile announced this week the appointment of new investment attachés for Europe and the USA.

The new attachés, Beatriz Herrera (USA) and Vanessa Séverin (Europe), were selected from a field of 130 applicants. Both women are career civil servants with extensive experience at InvestChile.  

The agency’s new offices in Washington D.C. and Berlin will officially open on December 15th, joining InvestChile’s Asia office, which has operated in Tokyo since 2017 under the leadership of the agency’s Councelor for Investment Affairs (Embassy of Chile in Asia) , Vicente Pinto. 

«It’s great news that the agency can once again operate directly in two of its leading markets,» emphasized InvestChile Director, Karla Flores. «These new offices will give us a direct line to the headquarters of companies implementing projects in Chile, which will streamline decision making on those initiatives. The role they play can make a tremendous difference in the current international climate of uncertainty,» she added.   

Ms. Flores also highlighted the attachés’ technical expertise in promoting and attracting foreign investment to the country, «This is important, because we have ambitious goals and need to attract investment that will boost key sectors and favor job creation. The two professionals also have experience working in coordination with our network abroad, which is crucial for supporting our work and for creating synergies in terms of both expenditures and promotional activities abroad.» 

It is important to note that the European and US markets represent 60% of Chile’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock and the hope is that opening these offices will prompt the reactivation of projects worth more than US$1.5 billion in 2023.  

About the new attachés 

Beatriz Herrera, the new investment attaché for the United States, earned a Business degree from the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and has a Master’s degree in Finance from the same institution. She has worked in the field of finance for most of her career, occupying management positions in Risk and Finance in local companies,  

before joining InvestChile in 2018 as an investment promotion executive. Since then, she has been responsible for promoting the Venture Capital sector and has occupied other positions such as Coordinator of the Promotion team and head of the agency’s foreign network. 

Herrera explains that Canada and the USA are the first and second largest investors in Chile, and highlights that Mexico has «an immense potential that has not yet been tapped.» In this regard, she hopes that the attaché’s role will focus on collaborating with other government stakeholders, «establishing long-term relationships with investors whose decision-making processes can last from three to five years.»  

Vanessa Séverin, the new investment attaché in Europe, came to Chile from France 16 years ago. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations (cum laude) from Sciences Po at the University of Bordeaux.

Highlights of her professional career include her posting as Head of Investment Promotion for the food industry at CORFO and her work as commercial executive at Sage Software (Canada). Vanessa joined InvestChile as an investment promotion executive in 2012 and since then has held a series of other roles, including Head of Investor Relations & Aftercare and Head of Subnational Coordination and Business Ecosystems. 

The French-born executive emphasizes, «Europe offers a good opportunity, given the progress in its development policies, its cultural ties with our region and the presence of medium-sized companies with a tremendous potential for internationalization,» adding that these firms can offer solutions to challenges Chile faces and can use the country as a platform to reach the rest of the region. 

Ambitious goals 

InvestChile expects that the work of the three attachés—including their colleague in Tokyo—will translate into projects worth more than US$ 1.5 billion in 2023, a goal that Herrera calls «extremely ambitious.» She stresses, however, that the attachés will not be working alone, but with the support of with industry specialists and a network of professionals trained in identifying companies with investment potential. Their most important duties are direct contact with company headquarters and relating with local ecosystems. 

Séverin also revealed that the attachés’ priorities will include building business networks in key markets and reducing information asymmetries with companies. In Europe, the vital investment sectors continue to be non-conventional renewable energies and green hydrogen, the circular economy, infrastructure, technology and innovation.