Our Economy

Chile has an open economy, with clear and stable rules. The country enjoys varied natural resources, skilled labor, first-rate managers and a competent, effective administrative structure. Today’s successes are largely due to the consensus achieved on economic policy. The central pillars of this policy are openness to the world, the market as the chief means of resource allocation, and the State as a regulating and balancing factor.

Tariffs have diminished from an average of 94 percent in 1976 to eight percent in 2001, and the country aims to further reduce them to six percent by 2003. During the past two decades, the globalization of the Chilean economy has often been cited as a successful example of openness, liberalization and export development.

Chile has stimulated the inflow of foreign investment, under the same conditions as those enjoyed by local investors. Markets have been liberalized, state-run enterprises have been privatized, and Chilean-based companies have begun to export capital as well as goods undertaking initiate productive activities in other countries.

The country enjoys sustained growth; inflation is under control; public finances enjoy a surplus; external government debt is lower than is previous years; international reserves are substantial. The country’s policies are explicitly aimed at preserving macroeconomic equilibrium, upon which the continued confidence of local and international investors in the country depends. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank maintain a policy of austerity and expenditure reduction.

During the last six years, the gross domestic savings rate has remained steady at one of the highest levels recorded in Chilean economic history: an average of 22.3 percent. This has enabled investment projects to be carried out in housing, public works, youth training and productive support for small businesses.

Exports have become one of the leading engines of Chile’s economic growth. They have inspired the creation of numerous activities and businesses: nearly 45 percent of GDP is linked to foreign trade. The array of products is extensive: minerals, fresh and dried fruit, wine, salmon, frozen agricultural products, fruit juices, ceramic and leather goods, foodstuffs, beverages, liquor, electrical materials, transport materials, industrial products, comic books, advertising, graphic productions, and software and consulting services in the commercial, financial and business development spheres.