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Chilean economy continues to grow in face of international turmoil

Finance Minister Larraín praised Chile’s “solid foundations” and positive growth figures, saying the country’s economic growth is expected to continue. 

Monday, August 08, 2011  
Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín, left, with the Secretary General of the OECD. (Photo courte Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín, left, with the Secretary General of the OECD. (Photo courtesy of the Chilean Finance Ministry)

In the face of a weakening global economy and downturns in international stock markets, Chile’s economy is staying on track. Finance Minister Felipe Larraín spoke to local press this week, pointing to Chile’s stable economic foundations and positive growth for the first half of 2011.

“The foundations of the Chilean economy are solid, and we are able to maintain our tranquility,” Larraín said.

Chile’s “solid foundations” are part of the reason international investors continue to place investment capital in the Andean nation. In 2010, direct foreign investment increased 17 percent, making Chile one of the world’s top-20 investment destinations.

“This doesn’t mean that we are immune or blinded to what is going on in the rest of the world,” he added, but “the government will continue to work seriously in a united effort to face the situation of the international markets, which doesn’t look simple.”

Larraín announced his intentions to meet with the president of the Central Bank to coordinate the government’s response to the international markets.

Larraín highlighted the news released last month that Chile’s economic activity in June grew 6.1 percent. “This is good news in a complicated world that is living through an economic upheaval.”

Chile has enjoyed a good year so far, in economic terms, with industrial production increasing by 4 percent in the month of June, and international copper prices at an all-time high. Chilean exports were up 17 percent in June.

“This lets us look at 2011 with optimism,” Larraín said. “We are going to pass 6 percent [economic growth] and we will probably be around 6.5 percent or higher, even including a natural deceleration in the second half of the year.”

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