Located along the southwestern coast of South America, Chile has an area of 756,950 km²: it is a long string of land pressed between the Pacific (6500 km of coastline) and the towering Andes. Chile’s capital city, Santiago, is located in the centre of the country.
Chile is divided into three general topographic regions: the lofty Andean cordillera on the east (occupying one third of the country), the low coastal mountains of the west and the fertile central valley between. The country has 17 million of habitants.
Chile has a mixed economy and is one of the most secure and productive in South America. It is ranked by the World Bank as a high-income economy. The leading industry of Chile is the services sector, which contributes 53.1% of the GDP. The industry sector contributes to 41.8% of the GDP and the agricultural sector contributes to 5.1%. The leading industry products include copper, fish processing, iron and steel, other minerals, wood products, cement, and textiles.
Opportunities for the maritime sector
Chile has ideal natural characteristics to open doors to the international market. The more than 8000 km of Chilean coasts and their ports are the main causes of competitiveness. The breadth of its coasts allows an advantageous connectivity for the maritime transport of goods with strategic markets such as Asia, Europe and the main American economies.
The main Chilean marine and maritime sectors of interests are:
Fishing is the major activity in Chile and the country is the 7th largest commercial catcher in the world: its main ports have a leading role to play in this sector. Total fisheries production in Chile was reported at about 3 000 000 tons in 2015, with 2/3 linked to capture fisheries production, and 1/3 due to aquaculture production. Chilean fish catch is ranked the 7th in the world, showing how significant this sector is for this country.
Biodiversity conservation in Chile is partly managed through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that includes federally designated marine parks and marine reserves. Chile currently has 25 sites with marine protected area designations. Former Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet signed into law protections for nearly 450,000 square miles of water, establishing the Chilean waters with more than 40 percent of its area under legal protection.
Defense and security
Chile’s Armed Forces are undertaking a major modernization buying new equipment and overhauling obsolete systems. Its fleet consists of more than 85 surface vessels, including seven frigates, an oiler, and an amphibious landing ship. The Chilean Navy Coast Guard is responsible for environmental protection of the sea and search and rescue (SAR) responsibility of an area over 26.5 million km².
There is a huge potential regarding renewable energy: by many estimates, Chile’s extensive coastline, powerful waves and tidal currents could generate more than 10 times its current installed power generation capacity (estimates 160 GW in marine energy resources). Its waves are powerful, they take time to form in the Pacific Ocean, and cross it without any obstacle and hit the Chile coastline. Chile does not have enough fossil fuels for even a quarter if its natural consumption, so the country has had a great incentive to develop renewable energy sources.
Opportunities for the agriculture sector
Agriculture in Chile in his majority is still traditional. Poor results in the traditional agricultural sector inhibit a more rapid expansion in agriculture. Of the total agricultural area of 16 million hectares, Chile has 2.3 million hectares of arable land.
Good climatic conditions and abundant water resources favor Chile’s agriculture. The value of these agricultural exports continues to grow. During the last decade, the sector contributed an average of 4,5% annually to the country’s GDP. Notable agricultural commodities produced in Chile are: grapes, apples, potatoes and many other fruits. These are important numbers considering that only 1.7% of the entire territory is arable.
The main Chilean agriculture sectors of interests are:
Agricultural production of major crops is as follows: wheat, corn, oats, barley, rapeseed (canola) and rice. The fruit harvest, in order of production included grapes, apples, peaches and nectarines, pears, oranges, and lemons and limes. Avocado production is estimated at 82,000 tons, up from 39,000 tons during 1989–91. Wine production is a dynamic and growing sector in Chile, with a total production of 9,5 mhl (thousands of hectoliters) (OIV, 2017).
According to FAO statistics of 2016, Chile produces mainly cattle with a total of 2,2 million head, of which 1,6 million for milk and dairy products and 0,6 million for meat productions. Chile is a large producer of pigs for meat with 5 million heads. Another relevant animal farming is represented by the chicken sector for meat, which accounts for 290 million head.