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Economy Minister opens InvestChile’s office for Europe in Frankfurt

The first European office of Chile’s Investment Promotion Agency (InvestChile) was opened today in Frankfurt, Germany, by Economy Minister Jorge Rodríguez. Speaking to over 100 businesspeople from different EU countries and local figures, Minister Rodríguez pointed out that “Chile has moved from a passive policy of merely receiving foreign investment to a proactive strategy of going out to seek the investment it needs and we hope to see an increase in the European companies choosing Chile as their point of entry into the region.”

The well-attended networking event was headed by InvestChile’s director, Carlos Álvarez, accompanied by Chile’s ambassador to Germany, Patricio Pradel. The office is InvestChile’s third overseas and its first in Europe.

In a video message, President Michelle Bachelet told guests at the event that the opening of the Frankfurt office “is a strategic step for our country; we are establishing a meeting point in one of Europe’s most important business centers and one of the world’s most connected cities. ”

Similarly, Carlos Álvarez indicated that “We have come to the major financial center of Europe to tell businesspeople that Chile wants to be your partner, to be the hub from which you enter Latin America or expand your business there.” He also emphasized the work that the office will undertake as regards the promotion of opportunities for sophisticated investment with high value added. “Our country has the opportunities and talent to advance to a new phase, one that is in line with the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

The manager for international relations at IHK Frankfurt, Doctor Jürgen Ratzinger, commented that “It is an honor that Chile has chosen Frankfurt for its investment office. And it is also the right decision: we are in the center of Germany and the center of Europe’s most dynamic region for business. We are not only a financial and logistics center but also have a high level of industrial development.”

The event also served to introduce InvestChile’s investment attaché for Europe, Fernando Ortiz. He has extensive experience in senior positions at multinational companies in the technology sector and, until his appointment as investment attaché, headed InvestChile’s Investment Promotion Unit.

EU, principal investment partner

The European Union has historically been the block that has invested most in Chile. Between 2009 and 2015, it accounted for an inflow of US$142,865 million, equivalent to 37% of total foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chile during that period. Within the EU, Chile’s main sources of FDI are the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, and Germany. Chile is also the EU’s longest-standing trading partner in Latin America, with annual trade reaching over US$17,000 million.

An office for all Europe

The new InvestChile office will serve companies from around Europe, not only Germany. It will be seeking to identify companies that have development plans in sectors such as clean energy, functional food and ingredients, mining services and technology, exportable technological services and sustainable tourism. “We are looking for sophisticated investment in sectors that will be a contribution to our production matrix, have high value-added and bring with them knowledge, high-quality jobs, training and technological development,” indicated Álvarez.

Over the past two months, InvestChile has opened offices in San Francisco, United States, and Tokyo, Japan, and has announced plans to open an office in China next year.