Switzerland Global Enterprise makes business between Chile and Switzerland possible
For several years now, S-GE has been operating a branch office in Chile at the Swiss Embassy in Santiago together with the DFA. The needs of Swiss SMEs could and can be met precisely thanks to sound market knowledge and an excellent local network of contacts. Thanks to the growing need for services as well as Chile’s great potential for the future, the Trade Point has now been expanded into a Swiss Business Hub. S-GE can thus offer Swiss companies ideal framework conditions and customized support to survive in this international, demanding market environment while also informing innovative Chilean companies about the advantages of Switzerland.
Openness and stability have led to over 30,000 new jobs
Thanks to its openness and significant economic development in recent decades, Chile has become an attractive market for Swiss SMEs. Compared to other Latin American countries, the OECD member stands out with its political and economic stability, legal certainty and a business-friendly environment. Agreements on free trade and double taxation as well as an investment protection agreement highlight the positive and stable relationship between the two countries. This has already attracted more than 200 innovative Swiss companies from various sectors, which have created over 30,000 jobs.
Thanks to climate-neutral hydrogen, the energy supplier of the future
Its unique geographical location has helped Chile, despite its rather small population of around 18 million inhabitants, to achieve disproportionately large economic importance time and again over the last 150 years. This was done as a supplier of strategic resources: The country had a monopoly on natural saltpeter in the second half of the 19th century, in the 20th century it clearly developed into the most important producer of copper, and in the 21st century the mining of lithium was added to this list. The Mediterranean climate in the center of the country and the cold currents in Chile’s waters have always formed the basis for strong, export-oriented agriculture and fishing.
Helping to shape the energy transition with the right raw materials
Copper and lithium are generally regarded as raw materials that will gain greatly in importance with the energy transition and the boom in electromobility. What’s more, “green” hydrogen is considered to have the potential to replace oil and natural gas as an energy source in the near future. However, in order for hydrogen to be produced in an environmentally friendly way, renewable energies such as solar or wind power are needed. As Chile has the best conditions in the world for these two energy sources, it is now seen by international experts as a promising candidate to become one of the most important energy suppliers.
Chile wants to be at the top, Swiss companies can make an important contribution with their innovative strength
The goal is clear: Chile wants to expand its production capacities for renewable energies significantly to become a top-5 supplier of hydrogen and, therefore, develop an extremely abundant source of income. At the same time, the country wants to modernize the mining of its strategic metals and make it more sustainable. This requires clean technologies, digital solutions and automation, but also a wide range of services. As early as this decade, mobility in the mines and in public transport is to be converted to hydrogen and battery power. As a result of this, an internal market is being built up for those technologies, which are to become export hits in the medium term.
International investment accelerates trends
In addition to a modern energy infrastructure and the use of the latest technologies in mining, there has also been a trend in recent years in relation to the settlement of IT companies and data centers. Large international energy companies are helping to accelerate this trend by investing in solar projects in the north and wind farms in Patagonia, promoting cheap green electricity. In order to meet the criteria as a sustainable supplier, the country has for several years now been in the process of expanding transparency regulations, CSR, due diligence, financial and tax regulations as well as regulations on raw material extraction and environmental protection.
High environmental standards in Switzerland make an important contribution to development
Swiss players have already been among the most important investors in Chile in the past and have contributed towards giving Switzerland an excellent image among the population. As an innovative country with high environmental standards, Switzerland and its companies can continue to make an important contribution towards Chile’s development in the coming years. Swiss know-how is in demand: On the one hand, for developing into a strategic energy supplier – and not only in the sustainable production of hydrogen and raw materials – but also in a variety of upstream and downstream sectors such as financing, insurance, transport or quality testing. On the other hand, sectors such as health care, infrastructure or agriculture are also being modernized and expanded in this OECD country.