– Valley International Trade Association Newsletter, January 2007

Emerging Market – Chile

Chile is one of Latin America’s most dynamic and promising markets. Its strength and attractiveness lie not in its size (population of 15 million people) but in the energy and professionalism of its entrepreneurs, the transparency of its regulation, and the predictability of its decision-makers.

Chile’s Advantages

  • Market Economy – Chile during the 80’s became the first and was for many years the only country in South America that proceeded to open its economy and innovate in various industry and government sectors to reduce the size of government and reenergize business and growth.
  • Low Import Duties, No Protectionism – In the 80’s, Chile established the policy of dropping its import tariffs to increase local competition and negotiate trade agreements to promote trade and economic growth. Low tariffs encourage entrepreneurs to import what would be more expensive to make in Chile, and to develop new export markets where they have a competitive advantage.
  • Streamlined Import and Customs Clearance Procedures- All customs clearance procedures are carried out at once upon arrival of the merchandise by going to an electronic document system, the clearance procedure takes one day.
  • Chile is a safe, attractive, competitive, and very open market

Opportunities for the US Firms

  • Environmental Technologies
  • Telecommunication Equipment and Services
  • Medical Equipment and Services
  • Computer Hardware, Software, and Services
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Services
  • Food Processing Equipment and Services
  • Financial Services
  • Mining Equipment and Services
  • Security Equipment and Services
  • Material Handling Equipment and Logistics
  • E-Commerce Services

Doing Business in Chile

Establishing a local subsidiary or branch gives the best guarantee for the exporter in terms of receiving efficient service and appropriate promotion of its products. This method of market penetration may involve a considerable investment, but can be justified if sales are large in volume or when local service support and/or inventory are necessary.

Another practical and more common market entry strategy is to appoint an agent or rep with good access to relevant buyers and with technical expertise.

The U.S. firms can take advantage of U.S. Department of Commerce services which include market research, matchmaking, company profiles, gold key service and video conferencing.

Ayse Oge, Ultimate Trade, International Trade Consulting, Speaking and Training
Phone; 818-708-9571.e-mail: