Chile—the long, thin country located at the very bottom of Latin America between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes—is positioning itself as the region’s premiere hub for launching new tech ventures.
Government initiatives aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation are making this vision a reality, and a receptive market make it ideal for launching new products and services. The following is a list of all the wonderful reasons why Chile might be the next Silicon Valley—or perhaps the “Silicon Andean Valley”.
9. A myriad of incentives for entrepreneurs.
Programs such as the government’s Startup Chile attract early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs wishing to bootstrap their startups using Chile as a platform to go global. The program offers a 6 months visa, $40.000 USD, free office space and mentoring for entrepreneurs looking to exchange and share knowledge with their Chilean counterparts.
8. Free trade agreements with powerful nations.
Chile is a major player in global trade—for example, the country is a major importer of Chinese electronic circuits. In fact, the two countries hav fostered a free trade agreement since October 2006. Under the agreement, China and Chile have agreed to extend zero duty treatment covering 97 percent of products over the course of 10 years. Other areas of strong exchange and cooperation include mutual economic growth, support for SMEs, culture, education, science and technology and environmental protection.
7. The country’s strategic position on the continent.
Chile’s advantageous position facing the Pacific has allowed it to channel the oceans for trade and import/exports, especially into the Asia-Pacific region.
6. A short and easy visa application process.
If you come to Chile under the aforementioned Startup Chile program, you will be given a 6-12 month visa. And even if you decide to learn about the country and local culture on your own, a tourist visa is valid for up to 3 months in Chile.
5. Government initiatives to increase transparency.
The country introduced a major piece of legislation in 2009 that requires all branches of government to publish up-to-date information on expenditures, salaries and subsidies, as well as meetings with providers and interest groups. The government is leading by example, and companies will surely follow suit.
4. Low barriers to creating a company.
As per national policy, Chile is promoting the country’s entrepreneurial activities—and to this end, the government has shortered and simplified the process of registering a company in the country.
3. An myriad of tax benefits.
To avoid double taxation, the Chilean Income Tax Law recognizes a tax credit mechanism that allows for taxes paid abroad to be deducted from the taxes paid to Chile. A myriad of tax benefits for microventures and small companies also await bootstrapped entrepreneurs.
2. An abundance of global technology events held in Chile.
The country is one of the most international of all South American countries, due in part to the many organizations and companies eash year that choose Chile as the destination for their tech events. This in turn bringsan influx of new ideas from abroad into the country.
1. Relatively low rate of inflation.
Solid figures like a 4.4% of inflation in 2015 and similar estimations for the current year make it easier to plan for growth and size up the market to expand a tech venture.
Though Chile’s economy grew at moderate pace last year, it still represents an ideal starting point for businesses, due to the many advantages listed above. These benefits are sure to expand as the country’s pro-startup government initiatives take hold, positioning Chile as the innovation and entrepreneurship hub of Latin America.