Export Britain


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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Chile requires:



Chile has the highest GDP per capita in the region and an open economic model with expertise and efficiencies to compete in a globalised economy. It is a liberal, open market economy, with strong macroeconomic stability due to a solid fiscal responsibility rule, low unemployment and an inflation-targeting Central Bank. Chile ranks seventh in the Index of Economic Freedom and has signed Free Trade Agreements with 64 countries around the world including the EU.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 1.8 2.1 2.7
Export of goods and services 1.1 -1.9 2.1
Import of goods and services -5.7 -2.8 2.4
Inflation 4.4 4.3 3.1
Exchange rate (per $) 570.4 654.1 659.9
Population 1.1 1.0 1.0
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

The deceleration in late 2013 seems to be caused by weak performance of the manufacturing and wholesale sectors, while mining activity remained strong. The slowdown in the manufacturing sector appears to be the result of a weaker investment growth, due to some uncertainty about the economic policies of the new government and the fact that some energy and mining projects are affected by delays as it has become more difficult to obtain environmental permits. Chile has seen booming exports, particularly in the mining sector of the economy. But unlike other nations with significant exports of commodities, Chile has successfully diversified its economy away from over-dependence on those exports. For 2014, a slowdown in domestic demand, in particular private consumption, combined with a weaker expansion of public consumption will slow grow further.

Trade outlook

Chile’s total trade flows nearly stagnated in 2013. Asia dominated Chile’s international business, accounting for 40.3% of the flows of goods and services to and from the country. China, Chile’s top trade partner, accounted 22.3% of the country’s trade. North America followed in the ranking, with 21.2% of Chile’s trade flows. Even though total trade with Mexico, Canada and the US shrank, bilateral exchange with NAFTA’s members grew an average 13.9% yearly over the past decade. Meanwhile, Latin American and Caribbean countries act as the origin and/or destination of 19.4% of Chile’s total imports and exports, followed by Europe, which represents 17.9%.

Cultural tips

Essential Customs tips

The de minimis value is $30USD.

When shipping animal products, coffee, plants or alcohol, an Agricultural requirement (SAG) must be completed before the shipment will be released. An Original Phytosanitary certification must be attached to the waybill and clearance typically takes 1-3 working days.

SWOT analysis

Chile has emerged as an attractive destination for foreign investment led by economic liberalisation and structural reforms
Lack of skilled labour force.
Taxes in Chile are the lowest in Latin America and well below many European countries.
Trade competition compared to Asian peers with low-cost manufacturing.

Chile's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • sector
  • sector
  • manufacturing
  • manufacturing

Fastest-growing exporters into Chile

2 Norway
3 Czech Republic
4 Hungary
5 Russia
6 India
7 Netherlands
8 Poland
9 Turkey
10 France

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

Chile is increasingly moving away from being a commodity producing country to a more service focused one and so companies offering optimisation solutions are in high demand. Sectors with investment opportunities include: education, agriculture, construction, ICT, and energy.

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