April 07, 2022 #Business and Exports

From technology to healthy food, international companies seek to invest in Chile

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Chile has consolidated itself as an attractive destination for foreign companies seeking to expand in Latin America in the most diverse sectors. Here there is a series of companies that bet on Chile, to build from the first tire recycling plant in the world to the most modern data center. The reasons? Get to know them from their executives.

Chile is positioned as the most competitive country in the region according to the World Economic Forum; the most attractive for investments according to the Milken Institute and even the safest to invest in Latin America, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Moreover, it is one of the most reliable countries in the region to do business, according to Forbes magazine. Therefore, it is not strange to see that there are several companies that today choose Chile to innovate, expand and commercialize new products and services. As they explain, among the main reasons are clear business rules, a wide network of trade agreements, availability of talent and excellent conditions for innovation.

One of the most pressing current challenges is undoubtedly global warming and the need to generate renewable energies that will allow us to eliminate global dependence on fossil fuels. Chile has been at the forefront in this matter, due to its geographical conditions, but also because of its capacity to attract talent. Last year, in the region of Antofagasta, it was inaugurated the Cerro Dominadorthe largest solar thermal power plant in Latin America, with the capacity to supply approximately 380,000 homes and reduce the emission of about 640,000 tons of CO2 per year. "Chile has become a leader in the energy transition and in the installation of renewable energies," says Fernando González, CEO of Cerro Dominador. "We are located in the desert with the best radiation in the world and we believe it is a good bet to continue working on renewable energies in the country", he adds.

Also in terms of sustainability, an unprecedented initiative is taking place in the same region of Antofagasta, in Bahia Verde, where Michelin built the first mining tire recycling plant of the French company in the world. "Chile is a country with a healthy business environment and sound economic policies. It is a country that believes in sustainability, just like us, which is why, as a company, we decided to build our first tire recycling plant in the world here," says Carla Allende, Michelin's marketing manager for Chile, Peru and Bolivia. When fully operational, the center will have the capacity to recycle 30,000 tons per year of tires for mining vehicles at the end of their useful life.

Chile has also positioned itself as a pole of attraction for technology companies. In 2020, the American Microsoft announced its plan "TransformaChile #ReactivaciónDigital", a project that aims to build a region of data centers in the country and generate 51,000 jobs in four years. "We reinforce our long-term commitment to the country, announcing our most significant investment in the national territory, which seeks to contribute to the development and promote the economic recovery of the country", says Sergio Rademacher, general manager of Microsoft Chile. Another technology company that is strongly committed to Chile is Oraclewhich, after opening its first data center in the country in 2020, announced last year the construction of a second one, and its executive director said that Chile is destined to become a technological development center.

In the same industry, the also American Evernote, which allows to capture, store and synchronize files, announced in 2019 the installation in Chile of its first software development center outside the United States. "In 2019 we started a development center in Chile for two reasons: availability of talent and simple, clear and consistent business rules. So far, we have employed more than 60 people and we expect to continue growing in 2022," says Francisco Mardones, Evernote's executive director for Chile. "Technology companies are constantly looking for talent, and Evernote is no exception," he adds.

Healthy food has also proved attractive to foreign investors. An example is The Live Green Co, a company that, based on an algorithm called Charaka, allows us to replace chemical additives in products we usually consume with vegetable-based substitutes, in addition to producing 100% degradable packaging. Its creator, the Indian entrepreneur Priyanka Srinivas, decided to found her company in Chile and not in her native country. "Muitas vezes me perguntam por que o Chile? I believe that Chile played a fundamental role in the success of The Live Green Co", says Srinivas, explaining that this is due to several reasons: "The Chilean market behaves in a very similar way to developed countries like the United States, so it is an incredible market to test, learn and commercialize your idea before going global. The second thing is the trade agreements it has with more than 60 countries and organizations such as ProChile and InvestChile, which really help to open those doors. Finally, the support of governmental institutions such as Corfo and Startup Chile", he adds. Finally, he says that the most important thing is the people in Chile, who are extremely open to new ideas, technologies and ways of life".

Also, the multinational Nestlé now has 80 brands in 12 categories, and continues to grow. "We continue to look for new opportunities to operate in the country. An example of this is the recent acquisition of La Fete fine chocolate, a 100% Chilean brand, because we hope to continue expanding our presence and commitment to Chileans", says Andrés Eyzaguirre, corporate affairs manager of Nestlé in Chile.

Also in the mass consumption sector, the multinational Unilever has been operating in Chile for almost a century through its different brands. "Chile is an innovative country, that is why we choose it and bet on it as a test center for many of our products at a global level. It is a growing country with an increasingly relevant environmental awareness", says Nuria Hernandez, country manager of Unilever Chile.

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