Chile’s economy is one of the world’s fastest growing

A report from Ernst & Young placed the South American country among the top 25 markets, along with China, India, Russia and Brazil.

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Chile is among the 25 nations with the fastest growing economies in the world, according to a study conducted by global professional services firm Ernst & Young.

The group’s first-ever report on rapid-growth markets looked at the rate of expansion over the past 10 years, along with projected economic outcomes up to 2020.

The study – which did not rank the countries but simply named the top 25 – considered a broad range of factors including gross domestic product (GDP), demographics, growth rates and strategic importance.

Other countries which appeared included emerging powerhouses India and China, and natural resource giants such as Russia and South Africa. From Latin America, Chile was joined by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Cristián Lefevre, a senior partner with Ernst & Young Chile, told La Tercera that in the past decade, the nation’s economy had achieved an average growth rate close to 4 percent.

“[Chile] was impacted by the 2008 crisis but the effect was less profound than that experienced in other economies with similar characteristics,” he said.

While the report did not rank the economies, it provided projections for the coming decade with input from consultancy group Oxford Economics.

The forecast for Chile was an average growth rate of 4.9 percent between 2011 and 2015. This puts the country in 13th place on the list, which is led by Qatar and China-Hong Kong, with projected growth rates of 8.7 and 8.5 percent, respectively, in the same time period.

Deutsche Bank’s chief economist for Latin America, Gustavo Cañonero, told La Tercera he wasn’t surprised by the outlook for Chile, noting “the strength of the economy’s fundamental balances”.

Cañonero said there were a number of factors that stood the country in good stead, including the low levels of public debt, the solid economic institutions, effective regulation, a healthy and dynamic private sector and a plentiful supply of natural resources.

To maintain the high growth rate, the report said Chile would rely on strong demand for its goods and services, along with ongoing foreign investment.