In this page: FDI in Figures | What to consider if you invest in Chile | Protection of Foreign Investment | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Office Real Estate and Land Ownership | Investment Aid | Investment Opportunities | Sectors Where Investment Opportunities Are Fewer | Finding Assistance For Further Information
In 2021, Chile saw FDI flows rise, mainly driven by investments made into mining and hydrocarbons. According to the World Investment Report 2022 published by UNCTAD, FDI flows to Chile rose by 32% to USD 13 billion (compared to USD 8.4 billion in 2020), sustained by several large acquisitions and renewed interest in the mining industry, with the number of international project finance deals increasing 80% to 88 projects.Out of these projects, one of the largest ones is the construction of a USD 3 billion ammonia production plant with onshore wind farm, electrolysers, and port facility. In fact, from a sector-specific perspective, Chile's commitment to a green transition has created the basis for attracting additional foreign capital into green energy industries. Moreover, 2021 also saw an increase in Greenfield investments, reaching 82. However, FDI stocks decreased from USD 188 billion in 2020 to USD 180 billion in 2021. The USA, Spain, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom represent more than the half of the FDI stock. Investment are mainly oriented towards mining, financial services, energy, commerce, and manufacturing.
Chilean economic policies, which are founded on the principle of capital transparency and non-discrimination against foreign investors, comprise one of the country's strengths. Investors are also attracted by the richness of Chile's natural resources, the stability of its macro-economic system, its growth potential, its juridical security, its low level of risk and the high quality of its infrastructure. Chile is highly regarded as one of the strongest investment destinations in Latin America and the country has made progress in facilitating starting a business procedures over the last few years by enabling online registration of closed corporations. However, the country's reliance on copper prices may negatively affect its economy and drive away some potential investors. In 2020, the Chinese tech company announced that it would invest on a second data centre in the country, boosting its cloud and AI platform in South America, and in 2021 a Chinese firm Sinovac invested USD 60 million on a vaccine manufacturing plant in Santiago. Additionally, according to the Economist Business Environment, Chile ranks 20 out of the 82 countries reviewed for their investment climate.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||10,833||13,194||19,786|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||248,849||242,201||256,064|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||80||82||98|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||5,411||5,353||5,616|
Source: UNCTAD, Latest data available.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
|Main Investing Countries||2019, in %|
|Main Invested Sectors||2019, in %|
|Electricity, gas and water||13.5|
|Transport and logistics||3.2|
Source: Central Bank of Chile, Latest data available.
Strong points for FDI in Chile:
Weak points for FDI in Chile:
Chile’s foreign investment policy is based on simplicity, transparency and non-discrimination towards foreign investors. Over the past years, the Government has worked to simplify investment procedures. On a fiscal level, foreign investors benefit from a moderate corporate tax and they are guaranteed access to the formal foreign exchange market, including free remittance of capital and profits. A new legal type of company has been developed, the 'Simplified Limited Company' (‘empresa individual de responsabilidad limitada' - EIRL) that allows a foreigner to create a business in Chile without needing a local partner. Also, joint stock companies can be formed without a local partner (but another legal entity is required).
The Government established a foreign investment promotion and attraction strategy that included the creation of a new national investment promotion agency, InvestChile. InvestChile assists overseas companies with their investments in Chile. The Government has identified five priority sectors for investment: mining industry services, sophisticated food industry, exportable technological services, tourism and energy/logistics.
Under Law Decree N° 600 (the so-called "Foreign Investment Statute"), a guaranteed income tax rate of 42% may be granted for ten years or, provided the capital investment project exceeds USD 50 million, 20 years for the development of industrial or extractive projects (the overall rate is comprised of the corporate tax on profits and withholding tax on dividend or branch profit distributions).
|Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors||Chile||Latin America & Caribbean||United States||Germany|
|Index of Transaction Transparency*||8.0||4.1||7.0||5.0|
|Index of Manager’s Responsibility**||6.0||5.2||9.0||5.0|
|Index of Shareholders’ Power***||7.0||6.7||9.0||5.0|
Source: The World Bank - Doing Business, Latest data available.
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Latest Update: September 2023