About Chile

Chile, In Brief

Rockport has selected Santiago, Chile, to be the location of its first housing manufacturing plant for a number of reasons:

  • Canada and Chile have a Free Trade Agreement

  • Canada and Chile have a Tax Agreement

  • The democratic government in Chile is stable and progressive

  • Many government programs encourage home construction and ownership.

  • Canada is the third largest foreign investor in Chile with a large business presence

  • The business climate, legal system, and banking system are attractive to foreign companies. Scotiabank has acquired 100% of Bank Sud Americano and is now one of the dominant banks in Chile

Geography

Chile spans 756,950 km² and is bound by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west, Peru and Bolivia on the north, and by the Andes Mountains and Argentina on the east. The central zone, where the capital city of Santiago is located, is a fertile valley, which contains major urban centers and most of the country's population.

Demographics

Chile 's population is approximately 16 million with nearly 6 million people living in the capital city, Santiago . Approximately 86% of the population is in the urban areas, with 64% living in cities of more than 100,000 and 74% living in cities of more than 20,000 people. Approximately 10% of the population is in the medium to medium-high income sectors.

Economy

High incomes, high growth, high savings rate

Chile restored its democracy in 1990 and its economy is now the most stable, active and open in Latin America. It is the only Latin American country to receive an investment grade A- debt rating and the first to receive an A1 rating from the European rating agency, IBCA.  Chile’s credit rating remains the best in Latin America, with a long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating of A (Standard and Poor’s, December 2005.) 

Over the past fifteen years, structural reforms and prudent economic policies have helped anchor Chile's successful economic performance. Since 2000, its economic strategy has been based on a fiscal policy rule, inflation targeting with a floating exchange rate, trade liberalization, and an open capital account within a sound financial regulatory and supervisory framework. These policies have provided Chile with enviably high rates of economic growth and low inflation.  During the 15-year period through 2005, economic growth averaged 5.5% per year, per capita income tripled in U.S dollar terms, and the poverty rate was cut in half, to about 18 percent.

The national rate of savings was 23.6% in 2005 and Chile is considered an upper middle-income developing country. Its per capita income is one of the highest in the region. In 2006 the per capita income reached US$4,910 and by the year 2014 it is projected to be US$10,000. Inflation was 3.7% in 2005 and averaged 2.6% in the 5-year period 2001-2005 while interest rates are similar to those in Canada. Unemployment was down to 8.0% at the end of 2005, due to the sustained growth of the economy. Unemployment rates have trended steadily downward over the past 5 years with this being the lowest. More

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