Why Sinovac fast-tracked its decision to set up in Chile

A delegation of seven executives from the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, led by the company’s Vice-President, Weining Meng, came to Chile to assess the feasibility of setting up here. In recent weeks, the delegation held several meetings with government officials and private entities, culminating in the decision to move forward with their plans. Sinovac is the laboratory that manufactures the Coronavac vaccine, the most widely used in Chile with more than 18 million doses having arrived in the country to date. The company will set up a fill & finish plant in Chile that will produce more than 60 million doses of this vaccine and develop other vaccinations, which should begin operating in the second quarter of 2022. It also announced that it will construct an R&D center in Antofagasta, in northern Chile.

Why Sinovac chose Chile

Scientific collaboration

Over the past six years, Sinovac has been working with the Millennium Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Universidad Católica de Chile, with whom InvestChile prepared the schedule for the delegation’s visit. The Millennium Institute will be working with Sinovac to set up an R&D center in Antofagasta that will develop and improve its vaccines. This initiative will also enable them to work with the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad de Antofagasta.

State support

The agenda for the visit was designed to accelerate the decision-making process. In the space of just 10 days, the Sinovac executives met with the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, the Economy Minister, the Science and Technology Minister and the Health Minister. This busy schedule attracted the attention of the National Assets Ministry, which made some land in Antofagasta available for the project. The Araucanía and Biobío regions in southern Chile also attracted interest.

InvestChile stayed in touch with Sinovac’s business development executives throughout the process, keeping them informed about the benefits and incentives of investing in Chile, providing legal advice and helping arrange their permits and visas and so on.

Positive site assessment

The company was keen to set up as soon as possible, so the identification of available land that met its requirements was fundamental to the process.

Sinovac’s plan is to be in Chile for the long term, with a view to transforming Chile into a regional distribution hub for its products. The laboratory is open to expanding into other regions of Chile, which will open up new opportunities for business, collaboration and development.

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