At US$10,615 million, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chile in the first 11 months of 2019 represented an increase of 4% on the same period in 2018. The figure was 75% higher than the FDI received by Chile in the whole of 2018 and is close to the average for the past five years (US$11,946 million in 2015-2019).
According to the Central Bank of Chile, there was a net inflow of US$290 million in November.
Economy Minister Lucas Palacios underscored the importance of the ongoing foreign investment in Chile, “which confirms that overseas companies continue to have confidence in us for the materialization of their projects”.
“It is a good sign that foreign investment has not declined and that the figures remain positive, despite events in the country and internationally. The government will continue to work so that investors maintain the confidence which, over the past 30 years, they have had in Chile as an investment destination,” said Minister Palacios.
FDI figures for November 2018 reflected the acquisition of 24% of SQM by China’s Tianqui (for some US$4,000 million), an amount that was reversed in December 2018, giving total FDI in 2018 of US$6,082 million. Taking into account this adjustment, the inflow in the first 11 months of 2019 was 75% up on the whole of 2018.
The director of InvestChile, Cristián Rodríguez, insisted on the importance of looking at FDI figures over the long term. “What’s important is to look at their evolution, not just one month, because a single large-scale transaction can distort the results. Foreign investors’ confidence in a country is reflected in the trend, not in the result of one month,” he said.
FDI in the first 11 months of 2019 was explained principally by equity contributions, which reached US$6,293 million, accounting for 59% of FDI in the period. Rodríguez pointed out that equity contributions to November were 47% above their historical average. “We will be monitoring the evolution of this component over the coming months in light of the economic situation in Chile and internationally,” he said.
In the case of the two other components of FDI, reinvested profits accounted for 34% (US$3,629 million) of the total inflow and related borrowing for 7% (US$694 million).