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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Chile | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

The flows of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Chile experienced a strong growth until 2008 (flows had multiplied by four in five years), but they slowed down in 2009 due to the effect of the global recession. They have sharply recovered since 2010, reaching a record level for the country. Chile is the second most attractive country in South America in terms of FDI, after Brazil. According to the UNCTAD, Chile ranks 11 in relation to FDI attractiveness. The origin of this good performance is due to the Chilean economic policies founded with a spirit of capital transparency and non-discriminatory against foreign investors. These investors are also attracted by the richness of Chile's natural resources, the stability of its macro-economic system and its growth potential, its juridical security, the country's low level of risk and the high quality of its infrastructures. The mining sector, driver of the Chilean growth, has been receiving significant and steady flows of FDI. The country ranks 34 out of 189 countries in the classification of Doing Business 2014 issued by the World Bank.

Chili ranks fifth among the countries that are the most open to imports and foreign investments in the world. The United States is the largest investor in this country.


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Chile Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 8.0 4.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 6.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 6.3 5.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 23,44428,54220,258
FDI Stock (million USD) 172,699206,021215,452
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 6--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 29--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 728496
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 41.644.130.3
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 68.876.877.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Chile

Strong Points
Its macro-economic stability, its growth perspective and the low level of risk, are among the most promising points of the Chilean economy. The country is the top Latin-American importer per capita, it enjoys an excellent solvency and the economic players have the highest purchasing power in South America.

Labor laws are favorable to business, mainly due to the flexibility of working hours and uncomplicated procedures for the dismissal of employees.

The restricted size of the Chilean market has become less of a handicap due to the country's increase in economic weight at a regional level and its open trade. Foreign companies established in Chile can benefit from  privileged access to regional markets through different free trade agreements.

Weak Points
The main three weak points of the country are:
- Its lack of innovation: Its spending in research and development is still very weak ;
- Its investment in network industries is not substantial ;
- A lack of qualified workforce. The active population rate is still very low especially among women and young people.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Chilean policy for reception of investments has always been based on simplicity, transparency and non discrimination towards foreign investors. The process of direct investment DL 600, offers security of investment. The government continues to develop and improve laws such as the simplification of administrative procedures or the increased appeal for credit. On a fiscal level, foreign investors benefit from a moderate income tax on companies and their capital can be repatriated without being taxed at the level of the invested funds. The country also offers a large range of investment solutions and has established a program called: "Chile Plataforma" in order to encourage investment. These courses have notably allowed the development of a new type of company  "The Simplified Limited Company" which allows a foreigner to create a business in Chile without needing a local partner.
For more information, consult the Foreign Investment Committee from the Chilean Government.
Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By Chile
In 1991, Chile signed the Washington Convention of 1965, which established the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Since then, Chile has signed further 53 bilateral investment treaties (BITs), of which 39 are currently in force.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal, as long as Chilean procedures and agreement formalities are respected.
Obligation to Declare
The Agency for Foreign Investment Promotion provides information on the authorizations necessary for business implantation.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Chile Foreign Investment Committee
Requests For Specific Authorizations
Foreign investors must obtain specific authorization to invest in certain strategic sectors such as exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons or the production of nuclear energy.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Chile on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Chile Foreign Investment Committee
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Mercado Publico, Tenders and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Chile
Inter-American Development Bank, Tenders in South America
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Chile
DgMarket, Choose your country
Other Useful Resources
Information pages of the Government (in Spanish)
Chile Development Promotion Agency

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Learn more about Investing in Chile on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: January 2015