Chile regarded as the best country for doing business in Latin America

10 September 2018 3 min. read
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Chile is ranked as the best country for doing business in Latin America according to a global assessment by business media agency Forbes, with the country’s political stability a major attraction.

In its annual Index of Best Countries for Business, Forbes has found Chile to be the clear leader in Latin America, with the nation’s market-oriented economy, strong financial institutions and political stability earning it an overall ranking of 33 out of the 153 countries analyzed. The next closest Latin American state is Costa Rica in 45th, while the biggest mainland regional economy of Brazil features well down in 74th.

With growing instability and the unsteady transition of power marking much of the current political and social landscape across South and Central America, including in Mexico, where the recent presidential race saw escalating violence, in Brazil, where economic mismanagement has seen an extended period of turmoil, and in of course Venezuela, which has reached the point of full-blown crisis, the strong civic institutions of Chile certainly stand out in contrast. Indeed, Venezuela finished 144th on the list, just a couple places ahead of Yemen.

Chile regarded as the best country for doing business in Latin America

In the sub-rankings, Chile scored reasonably well for trade and monetary freedom (44th and 47th globally), in the upper bracket for property rights and corruption (28th and 24th), and earned the number one overall ranking for personal freedoms. Although ranked among the mid-tier for tax burden at 65th, Chile also made substantial improvements in this area, and the political leadership was warmly praised in general.

“Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America,” the report states, adding that Chile has continued with its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization over the past decade or so with the signing of numerous international trade agreements – now totaling 22 covering 60 countries.

With a strong business and political climate, it can be expected that business advisories will naturally follow, and that has been the case in recent times, with consulting industry growth in Chile along with Argentina and Columbia outstripping the sluggish pace of the region’s biggest market of Brazil – which accounts for almost half of South America’s overall take. The effect of the political climate as to business can also be seen in the contrasting recent mergers & acquisitions results and forecasts, with a Baker McKenzie report outlining Chile’s status as the regional frontrunner for future deals.

Perhaps as an example of the healthy business landscape in Chile and its stability is the German strategy, marketing and pricing specialists Simon-Kucher & Partners choosing Santiago alongside São Paulo for its Latin American market entry earlier this year, while Accenture’s new country president Esteban Rodríguez Rozza believes that Chile is poised to become a regional leader in digital innovation – with Forbes currently ranking the country 38th worldwide for technology from a business perspective, ahead of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.