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A launch pad for investors

Article - September 8, 2011
Corfo aims to turn Chile into the regional hub of entrepreneurship and innovation
Corfo (Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion de Chile) was established in 1939 to promote economic growth in Chile. From its origins as an organization devoted to industrializing the country, Corfo has evolved into one that creates good conditions for entrepreneurs, innovators and Chilean SMEs, improving productivity, competitiveness, and helping to establish foreign companies within the country.

“Today, thanks to advances in information technologies, all many companies have to do is find a place to locate centers that have lower operating costs. In Chile this scheme has great advantages for any international company that wants to be successful,” says Hernan Cheyre Valenzuela, vice-president of Corfo. “If you are looking for lower costs, you have to find places that are interesting markets, and at the same time provide a platform to serve other countries – and we think that Chile has a great advantage for that.”

In addition to having a common time zone with the eastern U.S., Mr. Cheyre affirms that “the rule of law” works in Chile, putting the investor in a central position. Through Corfo-based investment promotion agency InvestChile, international companies are able to use Chile as a platform to meet Chilean customers and enter the international market through the region. Instead of taking an aggressive stance like some of their neighbors, Chile is more concerned with the fundamental training and working capacity of its citizens. Corfo even has a scholarship program to train people in English, and other useful developmental programs.

“Our dream is to have eliminated poverty and crossed the threshold of development by 2018. We want to do that with higher growth and higher productivity. We want to turn Chile into the regional hub of entrepreneurship and innovation,” says Mr. Cheyre. “We do not want to replicate Silicon Valley, we do not replicate Israel, but we want to learn from the best of each region, and connect to the world.”