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InvestChile portfolio shows record 25.1% growth at year-end 2021

Chile’s foreign investment promotion agency tallied up US$28 billion in projects, the highest figure recorded over its five-year history.

InvestChile, the public agency that promotes foreign investment in the country, wrapped up 2021 with a record US$28 billion in its project portfolio. This is the highest figure to date since the agency was founded five years ago, and represents a 25.1% increase over 2020. The projects managed by the agency, presently at different stages of development, had the highest level of associated employment over the last five-year period – 20,886 potential jobs, 38% more than in 2020.

For InvestChile Managing Director Andrés Rodríguez, this result is a clear sign of the confidence that foreign investors have in our country and of InvestChile’s work, raising awareness of the opportunities Chile offers and supporting foreign companies seeking to do business in Chile. “This reflects the dynamism of foreign investment in our country, especially in high-interest sectors such as energy and technology. It also shows how – the pandemic and other circumstances notwithstanding – confidence in our ability to continue growing remains high,” commented Rodríguez.

In terms of specific sectors, Energy once again led the portfolio, with 53 projects valued at close to US$13 billion; followed by the Global Services and Technology sectors, with almost US$6 billion; and Mining and its suppliers, with US$5 billion. Rodríguez explained that Chile has consolidated its position as a place for investing in energy, especially clean energy, and most recently green hydrogen initiatives, because “Chile has the potential to become the leading global producer of this fuel, and foreign companies know it.”

“Another sector in which Chile is having an outstanding performance is technology, with the country establishing itself as a digital hub in the region in recent years. Today, we have technological infrastructure developed by leading global companies, and in the coming months we will have more news to announce,” affirmed the InvestChile Managing Director.

China leads investments

As for the countries that figure most prominently in the project portfolio, China tops the list, with almost US$8 billion; followed by the United States, with projects valued at US$5 billion; and Canada, with US$3 billion. Another noteworthy development is the increase in Brazilian investment projects, which reached US$1.5 billion last year, 187% more than in the previous year, making Brazil the leading Latin American country in the InvestChile portfolio.

From Rodríguez’s perspective, Chinese investment in Chile is catching up after having lagged behind other countries such as the United States, Canada, and Spain, which lead investment in terms of stock. “Chinese companies have found substantial opportunities in Chile, a country they are increasingly coming to understand, with investments in sophisticated sectors. A good example of this is Sinovac setting up facilities in Chile, a process in which InvestChile has played a central role. Certainly, we will continue to see a significant inflow of Chinese investment in the coming years, similar to what we observe with the United States and other large capital exporters,” added Rodríguez.

Brazil is also worth highlighting, because InvestChile has been working with the Chilean embassy in that country to organize a series of targeted activities to promote investment. And those activities have borne fruit, in the form of a 187% increase in the value of Brazilian investment projects in Chile. “That speaks to the agency’s successful efforts in specific markets, and to the importance of how, as a State, we can develop programs to attract investment with a broad vision,” explains Rodríguez.

Among the companies with projects supported by InvestChile are notables such as Amazon Web Services (United States), Sinovac (China), Microsoft (United States), Citibank (United States), China Railway Construction Corporation (China), ODATA (Brazil), and Scala Data Center (Brazil).

“Today, we are working with the Economy Ministry to lay the foundation for a strategy that will enable our portfolio to continue growing, and to prepare for the future with sector-specific plans, to ensure that foreign investment plays a major role in closing gaps, developing sectors with potential, and – most importantly – generates real benefits for all Chileans,” pronounced Rodríguez.