Chile has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent decades, with GDP rising by roughly 5% per year on average. In 2010, became the first South American country to join the OECD. In recent years, it has made strong strides in improving its World Bank Doing Business rankings. Its dominant industries include minerals (especially copper, iron, and steel), foodstuffs, fish processing, cement, transport equipment, and textiles.
Chile launched a new foreign investment law in 2015 that prohibits arbitrary discrimination against foreign investors and guarantees access to the formal foreign exchange market, including free remittance of capital and profits. It endeavors to connect its remote northern and southern regions to the economic prosperity of the country’s heartland through zonas francas (free zones) in Iquique, Arica, and Punta Arenas.
Since Locus Economica’s recommendations for reforms to the country’s zones programme, Arica SEZ has seen its total value of trade rise from USD 52.4 million in 2015 to USD 74.9 million in 2017, and Iquique SEZ’s total value of trade rose from USD 6.28 billion in 2015 to USD 7.39 billion in 2018.