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December Market of the Month – Chile!

graphic that has pictures of Chile and states

Chile was named by the US Department of Commerce as December’s Market of the Month!

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Why Chile?

Chile goes from deserts in the north to the arctic conditions of Tierra del Fuego, and from the majestic Cordillera de Los Andes, with the tallest peak in the Western Hemisphere at 22,000 feet, to the Pacific Ocean. This is one of Latin America’s most open countries, with a stable and attractive market. Its strengths include sound economic policy-making, a transparent regulatory system, an educated workforce and good basic infrastructure. Prudent economic policies and an open attitude toward trade and investment have provided Chile with stable long-term growth.

Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on January 1, 2004, bilateral trade between the United States has increased over 154 percent.

Chile ended 2006 ranked as the 28th largest export market for the United States, climbing from 29th place in 2005, 30th place in 2004 and 35th place in 2003. The United States was the top source of Chile’s imports for 2006 and remained the top destination for Chile’s exports.

U.S. exports to Chile in 2006 increased by $4.07 billion over exports in 2003, growing from $2.72 billion to $6.79 billion, or by 150 percent. Chile has also benefited tremendously from the FTA; U.S. imports from Chile grew from $3.71 billion in 2003 to $9.56 billion in 2006, an increase of 158 percent.

Chile’s economy grew by 4.3 percent in 2006. The Central Bank of Chile projects 2007 GDP growth of over 5 percent.

Chile has maintained a low rate of inflation, with GDP growth coming from high copper prices, solid export earnings (particularly forestry, fishing, and mining), and growing domestic consumption. Chile continues to attract foreign direct investment, but most foreign investment goes into gas, water, electricity, and mining. Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend over the past year, dropping to 7.8% at the end of 2006. Chile also signed or ratified a number of trade agreements in 2006, including with China and India. Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country. It has 57 such agreements (not all of them full free trade agreements), including with Chilean government bidding procedures.

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