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Extensive interest in lithium and green hydrogen on the first day of Minister Grau’s investment roadshow in France

  • The Minister and the Director of InvestChile, Karla Flores, met with companies interested in investing in Chile and they participated in two business meetings.


Bilateral meetings with local companies and two business meetings marked the first day of the investment promotion roadshow in France, which was organized by InvestChile and led by the Economy Minister, Nicolás Grau. The Minister is currently touring Europe and today joined the presidential visit to Paris, as early in the morning the President of the Republic, Gabriel Boric, attended a meeting with businessmen together with Olivier Becht, the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade.

The President spoke at this meeting about Chile’s desire to achieve a production model where foreign investment plays an important role, provided it respects the environment and local communities and adds value to Chilean industry. Mr Boric mentioned that “we are not here just to sell rock, we are not here just to sell non-metallic mineral resources, we are here to tell you that Chile is a country with tremendous potential, with advanced science, with advanced technology, where we obviously have a lot to learn, as we are still a developing country, a medium-sized country, but we have many opportunities, not only involving our underground resources, but also our talented workforce.”

Olivier Becht was emphatic in assuring that “we are convinced that green hydrogen will play a fundamental role in our economies.” He also invited investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Chile so that “Chile and France can become pioneers in decarbonization and the fight against climate change.” Mr Becht signed a joint declaration with Energy Minister, Diego Pardow, a month ago in Santiago, to create a green hydrogen bilateral working group. This initiative was proposed by Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Gabriel Boric at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

Sectoral workshops and innovation

Subsequently, more than 50 company representatives attended two sectoral workshops together with Minister Grau and the Director of InvestChile, Karla Flores, where they heard first-hand about the opportunities provided by the new national lithium strategy. They also heard about progress developing green hydrogen in Chile, together with Minister Pardow. Both workshops gave representatives the opportunity to talk with the Chilean authorities, comment on progress at some of their projects, ask about specific matters such as deadlines and regulations, and reiterate their interest in both sectors.

After the workshops, Minister Grau held bilateral meetings with companies involved in lithium exploitation, before leaving for the Banque Publique d’Investissement, BPI France. This is an innovation agency and bank that supports innovative ventures and business internationalization. BPI and InvestChile welcomed more than 80 people to hear presentations in BPI’s auditorium by the Economy Minister and the Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Minister, Aisén Etcheverry.

Minister Grau remarked on the first day that “we held bilateral meetings with several French companies and had two more important meetings. One was with Medef to present the Chilean lithium strategy, and the other with BPI to present the business opportunities associated with our development strategy to BPI’s clients. We discussed how to strengthen economic relations between France and Chile, and focused on the importance of industrializing Chile using both our lithium and hydrogen opportunities.”

French investment

The Central Bank reports that French investment in Chile currently exceeds US$1.6 billion, with investments in the electricity, gas, water, industry and services sectors. Similarly, InvestChile is currently supporting 16 projects initiated by French companies that total more than US$700 million.

Chile has had an investment attaché in Paris, Cristián Sagal, since March this year, whose mission is to build bridges that help French companies to explore Chile’s opportunities and accelerate their decision to invest in Chile.

The investment promotion roadshow in Europe comes to an end tomorrow, with the last day of events in Paris.

Check out the images of activities of the first day in Paris below: