Chile attains record-breaking foreign investment in 2012

According to UN projections, the country’s foreign direct investment, or FDI, expanded 52.7 percent over 2011, reaching a new high.

With a record-breaking inflow of US$26.4 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012, Chile remains one of international investors’ favorite destinations in Latin America according to the annual report of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Second highest FDI in Latin America

This 2012 inflow positioned Chile as the second highest FDI in Latin America after Brazil, where UNCTAD estimated FDI of US$65.3 billion in 2012. Mexico followed Chile in the region with FDI of US$17.4 billion (a decline of 16.5 percent from 2011) followed by Colombia with US$15.8 billion and an expansion of 15.9 percent, and Peru with US$11 billion and an increase of 34.2 percent.

7th highest FDI growth rate in the world

Chile’s 2012 figure translated into a 52.7 percent increase in FDI growth over 2011, which positions the country as the seventh highest FDI growth rate in the world.

According to Matías Mori, Executive Vice-President of Chile’s Foreign Investment Committee, the statistics are worth celebrating.

“This is great news, reflecting a historic moment for Chile in regards to FDI,” said Mori. “Latin America was the region in which incoming FDI showed the highest growth in 2012, and within the region, Chile saw the largest increase.”

Looking ahead to 2013

While FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated to have risen by an average of 7.2 percent in 2012, global FDI flows fell by 18% to an estimated US$1.3 trillion. This global figure, close to the low of 2009, reflected a clear weakening of flows in Europe and the United States and was “due mainly to macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainty for investors”, according to UNCTAD’s report.

With regards to Chile’s FDI in 2013, Mori expressed reserved optimism. “I believe we can expect a good result but international projections clearly point to a complex year for the global economy and that will affect FDI flows,” he said.