After growing 28% in 2018, international companies have bought or capitalized national companies in industries such as food, ports or salmon.
A mayonnaise that is not mayonnaise and the goal of revolutionizing the food industry through artificial intelligence led the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, to put his eyes and money in Chile. On March 1, it was announced that the NotCo company will have US $ 30 million contributed by Bezos Expeditions – the family office of Amazon’s founder – The Craftory, Kaszek Ventures and IndieBio. The startup developed a computer program, called Giuseppe, that combines vegetable ingredients to replicate products such as milk, mayonnaise or cheese. This announcement supports good news for the country’s economy: the recovery of foreign investment.
The Central Bank reported in February that foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to US $ 8,224 million in 2018, which represented an increase of 28% over the previous year. In addition, it is the first increase of this index in three years and represents the largest annual expansion since 2011. On the other hand, InvestChile reported last January that its project portfolio totaled US $ 14,108 million. This represents an increase of 82% with respect to 2017, when US $ 7,736 million were recorded. The state agency that promotes investments in the country also revealed that the number of projects grew from 196 to 277, and will generate 15,408 jobs compared to the 10,693 registered in the previous year.
This improvement in foreign investment in Chile and the capitalization of Bezos to NotCo has also gone hand in hand with similar announcements.
The attraction of the infrastructure
On the second week of January, it was announced that the Matte group would sell 71.3% of its property in Ports and Logistics S.A. (Pulogsa), parent company of Puerto Central in San Antonio, in the Valparaíso Region, Puerto Lirquén, located in the Biobío Region. The buyer is Dubai Port World (DP World), considered one of the main port operators in the world, which will pay US $ 502 million. The CEO and chairman of the Dubai company, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said about the operation that “we are delighted to expand our global presence with an important entry into Chile, the most developed economy in Latin America, with attractive growth prospects and a dynamic business environment. These new assets will allow DP World to serve cargo owners and shipping lines at five key entry points on the west coast of South America, in Posorja (Ecuador), Callao and Paita (Peru) and San Antonio and Lirquen (Chile). “
Infrastructure in Chile has had the Concession System as one of its sources of development. Since its introduction in 1993, it has been a gateway for foreign capital. The Spanish company Sacyr is the largest private investor in infrastructure in Chile. It was awarded its first tender in 1996 and has concentrated on roads: it currently operates six, which total a length of 685 kilometers. But it is in the concession of hospitals -released by the government- and airports where it expects to grow during 2019, according to Diario Financiero.
The Chinese influence
At the end of February, Australis Seefoods signed the US $ 880 million share purchase agreement with the Chinese company Joyvio. The operation was initially announced in November 2018 and is still subject to the approval of the authorities China, Chile, Brazil, Russia and the United States.
Another sector that has attracted the attention of Chinese companies has been public transport. Yutong provided 200 electric buses to Transantiago. Another player in this market is BYD, whose goal is a 60% participation in the electric buses of the transport system of the Chilean capital.
Also during this summer there were news about another millionaire investment. Walmart received “the approval by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE), of the acquisition of the successful e-commerce platform -Cornershop- an operation amounting to US $ 225 million.”
While there are still some definitions pending, Chile has also been prospected by technological giants to install new data centers. The most recent information is related to the projects in folder that Huawei and Alibaba would have. On the other hand, Amazon plans to invest US $ 1,000 million in a project of these characteristics. The investment is also in the study stage and the favorite countries to execute it are Chile and Argentina.