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Chilean economy ripe for exporting.

A group of Chilean entrepreneurs, as well as representatives from the Chilean economic development agency (CORFO), and the Canadian Embassy in Chile came from Latin America to Sudbury to spread the word about how Canadian businesses can benefit in mining markets in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Southern Peru by making connections in Northern Chile. The delegation was in Canada during the week of Dec. 9 to Dec. 13, making a stopover in Sudbury on Dec. 10 and in North Bay on Dec. 11.

"My main message is that Chile, and the region of Antofagasta in particular, is one of the most interesting mining regions in the world right now," said Rene Faraggi, the Chilean and Argentinean commercial counsellor for Ontario Exports, an agency of the government of Ontario. "The region has a - great metallic and non-metallic mineral wealth...mining companies located in that area, which are the biggest ones in the world; buy more than $1.2 billion (US) per year in products."

Unfortunately, Faraggi added, Canadian companies only provide approximately five to 10 per cent of those products.

Gonzalo Munoz, the commanding officer at the Canadian Embassy in Chile, was also on hand at the business seminar held at Cambrian College in Sudbury. During the seminar, he indicated that Chile is the world's largest producer of copper and that the country exports more copper than any other country in the world. In addition, he pointed out that 40 per cent of the world's copper reserves are situated in Chile and that 20 per cent of those reserves are found in the Antofagasta region.

"Basically, the picture is that Chile is a fantastic marketplace for mining suppliers and we would like very much to have Canadian suppliers come and participate and do business in Chile, particularly in the Antofagasta region," he concluded. "Antofagasta is Chile's most important mining district."

Faraggi noted there are too many opportunities, incentives, and advantages to investing in the Chilean mining market for Canadian businesses to pass up.

"We can provide them incentives and facilitate the process for what I call the soft landing of a company in a new market," he said. "You can have the advantage of getting a better opportunity for your products, which you do not have right now because you are far away, and secondly, you are getting the opportunity to serve your client in a more accurate way."

One particular incentive he mentioned was the non-double-tax incentive in which a business that does decide to invest in the Chilean mining market would only be taxed once, rather than by both countries. He also mentioned various incentives, like subsidies. for hiring manpower, pre-investment subsidies oriented to detect real opportunities in the area, support in establishing minimum risk capital funds that would provide support for mining explorations and sales of products, and the establishment of purchasing power that would permit a business to reach scales for more efficient product sales.
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Author:Ubriaco, Gianni
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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