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The post-pandemic economy, innovation and digital talent take center stage at InvestChile’s first e-seminar

26 November, 2020

The event “Chile: Re-boost to Investment and New Business Opportunities” focused on debate about the challenges facing the global and local economy in the context of economic reactivation; it also included the announcement of investments by overseas companies.

The role of sustainability in Chile’s new constitution, the need to convert to working digitally, the challenges of the post-pandemic economy and the sectors that are leading innovation in Chile: these were some of the topics discussed by experts and key players during the first InvestChile e-seminar, “Chile: Re-boost to Investment and New Business Opportunities”. The seminar, organized by the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency with the support of the Economy Ministry, focused on economic reactivation and, through its speakers, addressed both the new opportunities the country offers and the main measures being implemented to reactivate its economy.

Speakers at the seminar, which was followed by over 700 online viewers, included the renowned American economist and academic Jeffrey Sachs, identified by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people and an authority on sustainable development; the Mexican expert on human capital and entrepreneurship from the World Economic Forum, Leticia Gasca; and Chile’s Economy Minister Lucas Palacios, who spoke about the ministry’s plans for supporting investment. Representatives of overseas companies – Bimbo (Mexico), Engie (France) and Ascenty (Brazil) – also spoke about their expansion plans in Chile. In addition, the event included the launch of the first Human Capital Fair for the Technology Area, organized by the Talento Digital initiative and supported by InvestChile, as a vehicle for offering jobs in one of the sectors that have not ceased to grow in recent months.

Through two discussion panels, the seminar also examined sectors that will play a key role in the recovery of the economy and its sustainable development. The panel on innovation and technology in the food industry brought together entrepreneurs who are making news in an area that, this year alone, has generated US$400 million in new investment while, in the panel on digital talent as an asset for attracting investment and new business, the main players in the sector offered advice on how to join the work of technology companies.

Phrases that marked the day

These are some of the principal ideas from the discussion and interviews that took place during the InvestChile e-seminar:

Impact of the pandemic and reactivation

“The timing and scale of the economic and social measures have been crucial for the speed of the  recovery of activity.”

Lucas Palacios, Minister of Economy, Economic Development and Tourism


“It is important we have a clear recovery plan and this should be built by investing in a new clean economy.”

Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and academic


“There are four forces that are shaping the future: climate change, migration, aging and the pandemic.”

Leticia Gasca, expert on education and employment, World Economic Forum


“We have worked so that [foreign investment] projects are not halted by the pandemic and the restrictions.”

Juan Araya, Director (acting), InvestChile


New investments

“I can announce that we will soon have a third data center [in Chile].”  

Felipe Caballero, Vice-President of Projects, Ascenty


“Engie has decided to develop projects for US$3,000 million in the north of Chile over the next few years.”  

Nils Grobet, Head of Green Hydrogen Development, Engie


“We will inaugurate a distribution center and our third production plant in Chillán next year.”

Enrique Martínez, General Manager Chile, Grupo Bimbo


New constitution

“I am optimistic. Our country has shown political, economic and social stability. That is the way to resolve conflicts.”

Lucas Palacios, Minister of Economy, Economic Development and Tourism


“Chile has an excellent opportunity to include sustainable development in its constitution.”

“I hope the process reflects the strengths of a mixed market economy and with commitments to social inclusion.”

Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and academic



Digital talent

“We want the digital transformation to be synonymous with opportunities.”

Vladimir Glasinovic, Executive Director, Talento Digital para Chile


 “We have to learn to learn and develop critical thinking, adaptability and a data mindset.”

Leticia Gasca, expert on education and employment, World Economic Forum


“We have a long road ahead in addressing the difficulties women experience in accessing STEM careers.”

María Inés Salamanca, Coordinator, UN Women Chile


“We have data about what was going to happen in ten years’ time but has happened this year. We are, indeed, facing mass digitalization.”  

Mónica Retamal, Executive Director, Kodea Foundation


 “There is something of which Chilean companies have little but of which overseas companies bring a lot and that is training capacity [in digital specialization].”

Gustavo Rivera, Director, Equifax Development Center


Innovation in the food industry

“For global growth, we needed to be stronger in crops with high added value where Chile represents a very interesting market.”  

Andrea Ramos, Country Manager, Kilimo


“Investment in the FoodTech area is increasing quite quickly and Chile’s main strength is its human capital; we have excellent scientists.”

Leonardo Álvarez, CEO and Co-founder, Protera


“It was easy for us to expand from Chile. For example, we will be starting sales in Peru and the United States next month.”

Priyanka Srinivas, Founder, The Live Green Co.


“In AgTech and FoodTech, Chile has the opportunity to be a pioneer, to create new technologies and export them to the world.”

Eduardo Zavala, CEO and Founder, Done Properly


Watch the e-seminar “Chile: Re-boost to Investment and New Business Opportunities” in this video: