Invest in Chile: Opportunities in Biotechnology

Chile is not only Latin America's best evaluated economy but also one of the best evaluated emerging economies internationally.

Its hallmark stability, transparency and competitiveness and excellent business prospects position the country not only as the best destination for foreign investment in Latin America but also as one of the world's leading destinations.

According to the Global Investment Trends Monitor released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Chile was the world's 18th largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2013. With an inflow of US$20,258 million, Chile was among the top 20 recipients for the third consecutive year.

Why invest in Chile?

A reliable country

Chile is a safe place in which to do business as borne out by risk ratings agencies which have increased or maintained their high ratings for the country, highlighting its low level of public debt, the health of its financial system and its solid institutions.

A competitive country

In the 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum, Chile took 34th place out of 148 economies, ahead of all other Latin American countries.

An attractive business climate

According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2014 report, Chile is the easiest Latin American economy in which to do business.

A transparent country

In Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, Chile obtained a score of 71 points, ranking among the 22 best-placed economies out of the 177 countries included in the Index.

An internationally integrated country

Chile has signed 23 trade agreements with 61 countries, expanding its domestic market of 16.6 million inhabitants to one of over 4,302 million potential consumers around the world (representing 85.7% of global GDP and 63% of the world's population).

A globally connected country

Chile has world-class highways and telecommunications services, with a high penetration of technology and excellent connectivity. In the Networked Readiness Index 2014 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it took 39th place out of 138 economies, ranking first in .Latin America.

A country with talent

Chile stands out not only for its high-standard professionals but also as the home of two of the universities that, according to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), are among the top ten in Latin America. In addition, it took 31st place out of 60 economies in the Global Talent Index2011-2015 of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

A country to live in

The capital Santiago is one of Latin America's most liveable cities, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and the country is also well evaluated in studies such as the Global Peace Index which, in 2013, ranked it 31st out of 162 countries.

Headquarters in Chile

Santiago offers overseas companies some of the world's most attractive installation costs. In its Prices and Earnings report for 2012, the UBS investment bank gave Chile's capital a score of 52.8 points and 60th position out of 72 cities in a ranking where first place indicates the most expensive city (Oslo) and New York is the base of comparison with 100 points.

Biotechnology in Chile

Biotechnology industry

  • Over 100 biotechnology companies (79 private + 22 consortia), including leading global players, have operations in Chile.
  • The sector's total annual sales reach an estimated US$900 million.
  • The sector has received foreign investment worth over US$170 million.

Dynamic knowledge creation and government support

  • 11 universities active in biotechnology.

  • More patents awarded than in competitor countries in the region.

  • Constant government support for financing of R&D and early marketing stages.

  • International centers of excellence in biotechnology established in the country.

Why invest in biotechnology in Chile?

  • There is a dynamic local industry, comprising over 100 companies and including leading international players such as Bayer, Pioneer, Ewos and Syngenta.
  • Fraunhofer, Pfizer and Wageningen UR University have established international centers of excellence in Chile.

  • Chile offers political and economic stability and transparency.
  • Through government institutions such as CORFO, CONICYT and FIA, incentives are available for R&D and the development of competitive biotechnology businesses.

  • Chile has a 35% tax incentive for private expenditure on R&D.
  • Chile is among the 20 most attractive countries for investing in biopharmaceutical R&D, thanks to factors that include its general business climate, the availability and quality of human resources and the protection of intellectual property (FDI Intelligence Report 2010, Financial Times).
  • Over the past five years, more than 12,000 people have received PhD degrees from local and overseas universities in areas where biotechnology is used (agricultural sciences, natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical sciences and health care).

  • Two Chilean universities (Universidad Catolica de Chile and Universidad de Chile) are among the 500 best in the world (ARWU 2013) and among the five best in Latin America (QS Latin American Ranking 2013). Eleven Chilean universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate training in biotechnology and there are 22 PhD programs.

  • The capacity to obtain a biotechnology patent is greater than in other Latin American countries (OECD 2013).

  • Chile is a world authority on germplasm banks and storage of microorganisms patented with the authorization of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Chile is rich in biodiversity thanks to its geographic and climatic characteristics which, in addition, mean a counter-season advantage with respect to the northern hemisphere, while excellent phytosanitary and zoosanitary conditions also mean a low prevalence of pests.
  • Good infrastructure and competitive costs exist for the support industry for biotechnology R&D and related services (offshoring).
  • Biotechnology companies are having an evident impact in mining, the food and agribusiness sector, health care and alternative energies.

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