Exporting to Chile

Chile is the UK’s third-biggest trading partner in Latin America (Comtrade, 2019). Chile has enjoyed long periods of growth. A pro-business sentiment and a strong drive for innovative solutions make it a great first stop for companies new to the region.

Shared values

Chile and the UK have enjoyed a long and vibrant trading and diplomatic history based on shared values. These include the commitment to democracy and human rights, the development of open markets and commerce, international cooperation and cultural links.

Opportunity for UK growth

Total trade in goods and services between Chile and the UK for the year ending June 2019 was worth £2.2 billion, a 10.7% increase on the same period in 2018. Chile is the UK’s 60th largest export market, and with new investment there’s plenty of opportunity for this to grow (ONS, 2019).

A strong and open market

A member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Pacific Alliance, Chile has a developed financial market and economic institutions with well-trained professionals and good infrastructure.

Ease of doing business

59th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Chilean peso

Business language

Spanish

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$15,902

UK is $41,030 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

4.0%

(IMF, 2018)

Time zone

GMT -4

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Chile have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Chile

Preparing to export

VAT

Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at a flat rate of 19%.

Business profits tax, also known as first category tax, is charged at 20%.

Individual income tax, also known as second category tax, is charged at rates of 0-40% on salaries.

Tax

The UK and Chile have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

Operating in Chile

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

Business culture

Chile is a face-to-face culture and Chileans have a strong preference for doing business with somebody they have actually met. Chileans are serious, straightforward negotiators, using the ‘hard sell’ and other aggressive tactics will not go down well. Instead, specify your priorities, terms and conditions.

Visit the market. This is essential if you wish to be seen as keen to compete seriously in Chile.

Spanish is the official language of Chile; however senior managers are usually proficient in English.

Payment terms

Quote in CIF US Dollars or in Sterling with US dollar equivalent. It’s advisable to use a secure term of payment such as an irrevocable letter of credit from a Chilean commercial bank.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.