Chile is rich in copper, a highly sought-after commodity and the main driver of export growth in the country. Its political system is stable and democratic, with strong institutions. This is reflected in its comprehensive legal framework and independent judiciary. Chile’s prudent fiscal and monetary policy execution in recent years, based upon cooperation with international financial institutions, has contributed greatly to macroeconomic stability.
We keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective in Chile. Clients also benefit from in-depth analysis on 22 of the country’s most important industries. We provide interactive data and forecasting alongside detailed and risk-assessed analysis from our expert teams. We aim to keep you ahead of the curve, so you can do business with ease in Chile.
Chile Country Risk
Real GDP growth in Chile will remain modest in 2016, as copper sector weakness will continue to drag on economic activity. Rising prices will buoy the copper sector heading into 2017 and investment into non-copper sectors will become a key driver of economic growth.
Chile's current account deficit will widen modestly in 2016 as weak copper prices undermine exports. However, a diversifying export base and rising copper prices will support narrowing deficits in the years ahead, while capital inflows support Chile's balance of payments position.
The Chilean peso will gradually strengthen in H216 as copper prices begin to trade higher. Tighter monetary policy and improving investor sentiment toward the region will offer tailwinds in the coming quarters, as a diversifying export base reduces the unit's close...
Chile Operational Risk Coverage (9)
Chile Operational Risk
Chile Operational Risk
BMI View: Chile offers the most attractive operating environment among Latin America's major economies. Much of its appeal lies in the absence of powerful criminal gangs, which are present throughout the rest of the continent, resulting in lower security risks and a more limited presence of corruption. A strong rule of law has also provided a basis for robust economic growth and significant inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI), which have been further encouraged by the government's pragmatic policies and the signing of numerous free trade deals. Logistics infrastructure is well developed and more reliable than elsewhere in Latin America, and while the labour force is somewhat smaller, it is better educated and less heavily regulated than in regional peers. Consequently, Chile offers ...
Chile Crime & Security
Chile Crime & Security
BMI View: Chile offers one of the most secure operating environments in Latin America, boosting its already considerable appeal as an investment destination. Many of the debilitating security threats which plague other states in the region, such as powerful drug cartels and communist insurgencies, have not surfaced in Chile. This is partly due to the country's developed institutions and capable law enforcement agencies, which have been proactive in creating legislation and have also reacted well to security threats. Consequently, the country benefits from limited terrorism risks, low crime rates, and a relatively low impact from financial and cybercrime. While some security gaps do exist, particularly in terms of financial regulations and cybersecurity, these do not pose a major threat to businesses. Chile is therefore a regional outperformer in the...
Chile Labour Market
Chile Labour Market
BMI View: Chile's labour market offers considerable attractions for employers, including a large, urbanised and well educated workforce as well as minimal additional employment costs such as labour taxes. However, there remain key risks to businesses looking to hire staff, mostly posed by the inherent inequality of the education system, the prevalence of trade unions and the difficulty of employing foreign workers. Nevertheless, Chile remains the outperformer in Latin America in the overall BMI Labour Market Risk Index, ranked first with a score of 67.4 out of 100, indicating the lower level of employment risks that businesses will face in the country c...
Chile Trade & Investment
Chile Trade & Investment
BMI View: Chile's stable and pro-business government, open markets, developing financial industry and transparent regulatory system result in one of the most attractive investment profiles in Latin America. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is welcomed into many sectors of the economy, and there is little bias in favour of domestic sources of capital. While the country's attractiveness to investors will be undermined by falling demand for one its major export commodities, copper, the strength of the country's institutions and a favourable investment climate will ensure it remains a popular location for FDI in Latin America. Consequently, Chile is a regional outperformer in BMI 's Trade and Investment Risk Index, placed third out of 42 states, with a score of 66.3 out of 100.
|Attractive Investment Destination In...|
Chile Industry Coverage (23)
BMI View : A strengthening domestic economy, bolstered by rising investment into consumer sectors over the coming five years, leads BMI to adopt a cautiously optimistic stance towards new vehicle sales in Chile over the 2016-19 period. For 2016, we are forecasting a 5% increase in sales, to just under the 300,000 unit mark.
|Passenger Car and Light Commercial Vehicle Sales|
|f = BMI forecast. Source: ANAC, BMI|
Chile Commercial Banking
|Date||Total assets||Client loans||Bond portfolio||Other||Liabilities and capital||Capital||Client deposits...|
Chile Consumer Electronics
BMI View: As the commodities market recovers and Chile's economy moves back to a stronger growth trajectory over the medium term, we forecast the consumer electronics market will move to a faster trajectory. We envisage a CAGR of 5.9% over 2016-2020, with all three segments expected to be supported by peso appreciation against the US dollar from 2017, which will boost Chilean household purchasing power and increase the affordability of imported devices. The impact could be especially pronounced in the computer hardware and AV markets, where there was the greatest degree of deferred spending during...
Defence & Security
Chile Defence & Security
BMI View: Chile's domestic defence sector remains small in a global context. Local defence companies are capable of manufacturing a range of equipment - including small arms and ammunitions, electronics, radars and armoured vehicles - though their ability to develop more technologically advanced items remains limited at present. As such, the country continues to rely on foreign suppliers to meet the requirements of its armed forces. Over our forecast period to 2019, we expect security threats associated with conflicts involving...
Food & Drink
Chile Food & Drink
BMI View: The Chilean food and drink industry will see robust growth over 2016. A strong consumer profile will bolster value growth throughout our forecast period. Premiumisation and health-consciousness will be the core drivers of growth in higher-value categories.
|Food and Drink Spending|
|e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: BMI, national statistics|
Chile Freight Transport
BMI View : There are signs of growth within the freight industry in Chile and, in particular, in the air and rail sectors, as investment in infrastructure makes way for an increase in demand for the transport of raw materials and agricultural produce. Through the slowdown in China, Chile's biggest export country has taken its toll, the economy is beginning to diversify in order to reduce its reliance on the Asian country and GDP looks set to rise as economic recovery takes shape.
Despite the falling demand for copper, Chile's leading export, the country's GDP is set to grow over the short to medium term as investment in economic recovery takes shape. This will place the country in a strong position in the region to take advantage of...
Chile Freight Transport
BMI View: Despite the ongoing slump in copper prices, and the knock-on effect this is having on production of the industrial metal in Chile, we expect that the freight transport sector will enjoy positive growth in volumes in 2016 and over the medium-term forecast period to 2020. This will be driven by private consumption growth and ongoing government investment in transport infrastructure. Air freight will outperform, while growth in road haulage volumes will be flat over the next five years.
Chile will see a real decline in its trade in 2016, driven in large part by the poor outlook for the copper sector. Manufacturing will also be hit, but we expect that demand for imports of consumer goods will hold up fairly well. Labour market reforms will reduce the incidence of industrial action, improving productivity.
Growth in Chilean road haulage volumes will be slow in 2016...
Chile Information Technology
BMI View: Chilean IT spending growth is forecast to accelerate from 2017 and record a CAGR of 7.8% over 2016-2020, a marked improvement over performance since 2014 when economic performance deteriorated as a result of a global commodities slump that hit Chile hard. We expect economic performance to strengthen from 2017, including peso appreciation that will boost sentiment and deliver purchasing power growth to households and help unlock pent-up replacement demand in the hardware segment. Meanwhile, investment from important verticals such as mining, financial services, telecoms and healthcare are all forecast to gain momentum as the economy picks up, with cloud computing services a particularly exciting area for vendors.
Latest Updates & Industry Developments
BMI View: We maintain our positive outlook for Chile's construction sector in 2016 as oil prices remain low and the country's macroeconomics strengthen. Growth in the industry will be driven primarily by ...
BMI View: Chile's insurance market is well developed and home to leading domestic, regional and global insurance providers which boast high levels of capitalisation and extensive marketplace expertise. Demand for both life and non-life insurance is growing, benefiting from wider economic growth in the country as well as cultural shifts which have improved the knowledge and understanding of the potential benefits of insurance cover. We expect to see healthy growth in premiums throughout our forecast period through to 2019 which, along with an increasingly robust regulatory environment, make Chile's insurance market highly attractive to potential investors.
Chile Medical Devices
BMI Industry View: The medical device market is small but per capita expenditure ranks highest in Latin America. We forecast a high single-digit 2014-2019 CAGR in US dollar terms, fuelled by public hospital modernisation. The market will remain reliant on imports as production is limited. Chile has generally...
BMI View: Chile's mining sector value will continue to contract through 2017, on the back of weak mineral prices and elevated operating costs. Nonetheless, country will remain the top global copper producer by a wide margin over our forecast period to 2020.
Oil & Gas
Chile Oil & Gas
BMI View: With a lack of below-ground rewards, Chile will suffer from a continued deficit of hydrocarbon supplies and a high dependence on imported energy feedstock. Chile's most immediate opportunities lie in the expansion of their LNG import facilities as a means to meet growing domestic demand. On a longer-term basis, Chile is exploring the possibility of tapping its unconventional resources in the Magallanes...
The Chilean petrochemicals industry will remain a marginal, local player that will struggle to compete on the domestic market. In spite of renewed gas supply deals for the country's methanol sector, feedstock restraints will undermine production and investment and the Chilean market will be import-dependent over the medium-term.
In 2015, a second methanol plant was moved from Chile to the US as Methanex responded to the cuts in gas supply from Argentina. Existing production is being served from local gas fields, but is still subject to seasonal shutdowns during winter as gas is redirected to domestic heating. A gas supply deal was reached in September to ensure feedstock to the methanol industry until April 2006 at least.
Polymer production has never been sufficient to satisfy local demand and this pattern will continue over the forecast period, with imports increasingly important on the Chilean market. Other...
Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Chile Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
BMI View : Healthcare service provision in Chile will continue to improve steadily. However, development in the public sector will be held up by limited funding, leaving the private sector to continue to dominate the market over the next decade.
Headline Expenditure Projections
Pharmaceuticals: From CLP1,947bn (USD4.0bn) in 2014 to CLP2,103bn (USD3.2bn) in 2015; +8% in local currency terms and -20% in US dollar terms. US dollar forecast revised down due to currency effects.
Healthcare: From CLP11,380bn (USD19.9bn) in 2014 to CLP12,321bn (USD18.7bn) in 2015; +8.3% in local currency terms and -6.4% in US dollar terms. US dollar forecast revised down due to currency effects.
BMI View: Chile will be one of the most attractive power markets in Latin America over the coming decade, owing to its stable business environment and investor-friendly regulations, an upbeat macroeconomic outlook and strong growth in power consumption. The government's use of energy auctions for the regulated market, coupled with energy demand from miners located far from the main power network, will create long-term business opportunities for power developers. Meanwhile, the need to strengthen...
Chile Real Estate
BMI View : The commercial real estate sector in Chile is set to benefit from steady economic growth over the medium term. We expect rents to rise in the retail sector, buoyed by rising private consumption, while the office market is likely to remain stable, but at risk of over-supply given the amount of new construction taking place. The industrial real estate market will be affected by slower growth in trade in the short term, but the growth of e-commerce and the broadening of the industrial base over time should have positive impacts.
Chile's economic growth bottomed out in 2014 and is expected to continue to accelerate on the back of strong investment over coming years. Investment into retail and manufacturing is expected to support the country's real GDP growth through to 2020 as the economy diversifies away from dependence on...
BMI View: Chile will remain a global hot-spot for non-hydro renewables investment over the coming years, due to the country's supportive regulations, high electricity prices, favourable natural conditions and stable business environment. Investor interest in the market remains strong, boosted by Chile's abundance of contract opportunities for power developers.
BMI View: The rising affluence of the Chilean population, combined with the country's open and transparent business environment, will continue to attract retailers to invest in the country. As incomes rise, spending on essentials as a proportion of the total will fall, while non-essential and aspirational spending will increase.
Global economic fluctuations will continue to affect Chile's economy in the near to short-term, while the weak peso will constrain imports. Sustained price reductions in commodities brought about by consumption slowdowns and market volatility in the world's largest markets will see reduced revenues from exports such as copper. However, this is encouraging the Chilean government to rebalance the economy away from the mining sector.
The longer-term economic outlook for Chile remains favourable....
BMI View: The healthy growth registered across Chile's main ports in 2015 is a trend that is set to continue as we head into 2016, as we once again cite the triumvirate of an improving domestic picture, robust macroeconomic fundamentals and various trade agreements as key factors that will boost growth in the shipping industry. The outperforming port in terms of total throughput is set to be San Antonio once more, with the facility penciled in to register 6.9% y-o-y tonnage throughput gains and 5.3% y-o-y box throughput growth.
However, growth is held back by the fact that falling copper prices will lead to tepid Chilean export growth through 2017, as investment into manufacturing output will take years to offset falling commodity export values. That said, imports will slowly grow as capital goods imports increase on the back of investment...
BMI View: Increased access to 3G/4G services, as operators launch LTE in acquired 700MHz spectrum, later in the year, will spur growth in the market. This will trickle down growth in to the mobile broadband segment, in particular, within rural areas. We also anticipate moderate growth to continue in the fixed line services supported by multi-service capabilities of existing infrastructure. The discounting of inactive users will however see negative net subscriber additions in some quarters moving forward.
Latest Updates & Industry...
BMI View: Tourist arrivals will grow by 7.0% in 2016, before moderating in the following years. We believe this slowdown marks a period of consolidation after several years of above-average growth, and do not expect it to alter Chile's positive market fundamentals.
BMI View: This quarter, we have substantially revised and expanded our water forecasts for Chile. We now include wastewater collection and treatment forecasts, and Extraction forecasts. Overall, we view Chile as one of the most attractive markets in the region both for water infrastructure companies and, following the announcement of the potential sale of a key water utility, for water service companies also. However, we highlight that risks remain for industrial consumers, who will continue to face high costs for the construction of water supply and treatment facilities.
Despite a recent slowdown, Chile's water sector continues to report solid growth, driven by strong investment and good government support. A healthy business environment also help Chile outperform in terms of...