Testimony: Ricardo Rink (Ritrama)

"Chile, a platform for the Americas"

Ricardo Rink, managing director of Italy's Ritrama, a manufacturer of specialty self-adhesive materials, talks about Chile's role in his company's business plan as a platform from which to export to other countries.

“December 12, 2008, was a very emotional day for me. I was once again in Chile but, this time, with a very particular mission - to inaugurate Ritrama S.A. in Curauma in the Valparaíso Region. As a family, we were not only witnessing a dream come true; we were also laying the first stone in another dream, one that may prove far greater because Ritrama Chile marks the start of our roll-out to all of the Americas.

The Ritrama group has over 750 employees around the world and eleven factories for the production of self-adhesive materials: two in the United States, three in Italy and the others in the UK, Spain and, now, Chile. In 2009, we will also be opening our first factory in China. How did we get to Chile? And why did we choose it?

We knew we wanted to expand to Latin America and to manufacture there at local costs. We looked at Brazil, Mexico and Chile, and finally opted for the latter because of its network of free trade agreements (20 accords with 58 countries), its political stability and its prospects for economic development. In particular, we liked its dynamic and prosperous food and wine industries and the fact that it exports many different consumer goods and, of course, we should not forget its cultural and financial openness. There was, moreover, the advantage of the support offered to us by the Foreign Investment Committee and CORFO, Chile's economic development agency.

All these factors converged in our decision to install a factory in Chile not only to supply the domestic market but also to target the rest of Latin America as well as North America and other countries. Our decision was, in other words, to use Chile as our business platform. Indeed, since the plant started operations, 80% of its output has been exported to the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Ritrama Chile is part of our company's project for global expansion and we are extremely proud that all our efforts have been amply rewarded with market recognition. Today, Ritrama is the largest private company in its sector.

It is moving to see a dream come true, a dream that perhaps has its origins back in 1940 when my grandfather Arnold Rink arrived in Venezuela from Austria. From that moment on, Latin America has held a special place in the heart of the Rink family. And, thanks to its political and economic stability, Chile has now given us the opportunity to consolidate that dream.”

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