(June 24) The Chilean government is making big efforts to attract international fruit companies to invest in Chile’s fruit-producing industry.

“We are hoping to bring anywhere between $26 (million) and $34 million in foreign investment,” said Guillermo Vasquez Gonzalez, executive promoter of investments for Santiago-based CORFO, the Chilean Economic Development Agency, a government organization.

“Chile holds many opportunities for growers, because the cost of the land in Chile is 10 times less than in the U.S.,” said Gabriel Gurovich, general consulter for IGT, (Inovacion, Gestion y Tecnologia), the managing consulting firm in charge of attracting and linking international investments with CORFO.

On June 12, Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s president, visited California to promote trade between the two regions.

The president discussed implementing agricultural education and student exchange programs for Chilean students wishing to study in the California State University system, Vasquez Gonzalez said.

IGT and CORFO are contacting fruit companies that are potential investors, as well as communicating with Santiago-based AMCHAM (American Chamber of Commerce in Chile), ProChile, Chile’s trade promoter and the Chilean Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as Chile’s consulates in the U.S.

IGT and CORFO executives are planning a series of trips to the U.S. in August and September.

“We will visit U.S. investors and have bilateral reunions to present them with different projects for investments,” Vasquez Gonzalez said.

CORFO is organizing the first International Investment Forum: Chile Investment Opportunities in the Fruit Industry, to be held Nov. 16-21 in Santiago. Attendees will include foreign investors interested in conjuring up joint investments in the Chilean fruit industry.

The forum aims to provide investors with the opportunity to do networking with Chilean companies and form possible investment joint ventures, Vasquez Gonzalez said. “We will also explain all the requirements needed to invest in Chile, such as legal issues, taxes and financial matters,” he said.

Investors interested in attending the forum will only have to pay their travel expenses to Chile, as CORFO will provide lodging and local transportation expenses.

Chile seeks foreign produce investors
Chilean government organization CORFO, the Chilean Economic Development Agency, is working with managing consulting firm IGT to contact potential investors in Chile's fruit industry.