Misleading misperceptionsWhen you think of Chile, you may picture the long spaghetti shore line along the South Pacific, or Allende’s mysterious ousting by the Pinochet machine, or even Allende’s niece, Isabella and her illustrious books which provided a new lens for the world in which to view Latin America with. What may not come to mind, are the positive economic and lifestyle indicators that are increasingly raising eyebrows around the world.
Chile’s overall Doing Business ranking has actually increased this year and one of the primary reasons for this was the strengthening of Chile’s securities laws which results in higher investor protection. Now greater corporate disclosure and regulation over the approval of transactions between interested parties is required. Chile’s pro-business environment was also showcased to the world when Doing Business 2011, a report published by the World Bank, ranked Chile in 43rd place out of about 200 countries. The report cited Chile as a global example for protecting foreign Investors, trading across Borders and enforcing international contracts.
Another report, the Country Brand Index, which is a compilation of opinions from thousands of influential world travelers, placed Chile just below Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina, jumping up 6 places from the previous year! And as a prominent global tourist destination, Chile ranked 22nd !
Freedom of Economic OpportunityChile is one of the planet’s ‘freest’ countries, according to the Index of Economic Freedom 2011, published by The Wall Street Journal. This study ranked Chile 11th among all nations of the world! And 29th in value systems, a category which included attitudes towards the environment, religious tolerance, freedom of expression, political liberties and legal stability. Additionally, it occupied the 35th position for cultural heritage.
ChallengesYes, Chile is a third-world country, and therefore prone to the issues confronting most Latin American countries like stringent labor laws, poorly educated workforces and hard-to-get capital. But Chile is very open to foreign investment and foreign equity ownership (with the exception of the energy sector).
Bottom line?Chile’s economy is open and also enjoys a very consumer-friendly landscape. Chilean citizens enjoy a competitive market utopia, as no monopolies or oligopolies exist in this part of South America. In fact, in order to register a foreign LLC in Santiago Chile, it virtually requires only 11 relatively easy procedures, and about 29 days to complete. Not bad considering their neighbors, Argentina and Brazil are viewed as the two most complicated and protectionist environments in the region. What are you waiting for, Chile is waiting for you!
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