SANTIAGO, Chile, November 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Agriculture has historically been one of the pillars of the Chilean economy. In recent years the agricultural sector, with its industrial derivatives, has managed to establish itself as the second largest in terms of revenue generation, after mining. Today, the country annually exports close to US$ 12,000 million in these products, with projections of US$ 20,000 million by 2015.
In this context, Europe constitutes a key market for Chilean food exports, and accordingly, Chile has made a major effort to provide the necessary arrangements for the best guarantees of investments under this heading.
As a result of its network of 21 trade agreements in force with 58 countries, Chile has managed to position itself as a key player in the world food scene, currently ranking as the world's 16th largest exporter of this type of product, and through the creation of a circuit for investment promotion and attraction of, it aims to present its credentials on the European continent.
London, Milan and Paris are a few of the destinations on the European tour organized by ProChile and InvestChile de Corfo, which from November 28 through December 8 will be presenting in a series of topical seminars the keys to the success of Chile's food sector, including the right mix of government policy with an entrepreneurial vision and efficient business management. It is a sector which, for its part, offers a high degree of employability, adding up to more than 1,200,000 jobs throughout the national territory (17% of the country's labor force), and especially in low-income regions.
Chile, a target for agro-food investment
Endowed with a unique geography, excellent phytosanitary conditions and a privileged climate that allows it to be one of the world's five zones with a Mediterranean climate, Chile presents itself as a country with solid institutions, warm industrious people, capable of offering the world wholesome quality food products, and with a high level of technological development.
In the past five years, Chilean food exports have grown by 62.3%, progressing from shipments of US$ 6,689.3 million in 2006 to US$ 10,857.7 million in 2010. In this context, the European Union presents itself as a highly dynamic market to receive Chilean food products. Suffice it to say that, between 2006 and 2010, shipments out of Chile grew by 42%, from operations of US$ 1,618 million in 2006 to US$ 2,304 million in 2010.
Among the features that prove highly attractive to foreign investors in general, and for the food sector in particular, is the fact that according to the latest rankings and international reports of agencies such as the OECD, the World Bank and the Economist Intelligence Unit, Chile has been recognized as the safest and most stable country in South America; a good ally to do business with, a country open to the world promoting free trade that is actively seeking agreements with other nations and trade blocs.
As a complement to the foregoing, its high levels of education, solid macroeconomic fundamentals and legal guarantees established for foreign investors are key factors that generate confidence in Chile, as well as a good international image that is outstanding among its neighbors in the region.
France and Italy: Destinations in vogue for Chilean exports of food and beverages
France and Italy are major markets for shipments of Chilean food and beverages. In 2010, these countries held 16th and 17th place, respectively in the ranking of countries receiving Chilean food products.
In the past five years, shipments of food and beverages to these markets have grown significantly, exhibiting an increase of 45% in the case of France and 34% for Italy, with the result that shipments to France totaled US$ 186 million in 2010, while those to Italy added up to US$ 184 million.
In recent years, Chile has managed to achieve substantial market shares of French and Italian food and beverage imports, positioning itself as the largest supplier of dehydrated apples and algae to France, and the main supplier of in-shell hazelnuts, fresh kiwi, fresh apples and shelled walnuts to Italy.