From the dry northern Atacama Desert to the picturesque ice covered mountains and lakes of Patagonia, Chile’s diverse geographical landscape hosts an abundance of natural resources that has attracted the attention of foreign businesses everywhere, with Japan being one of the largest foreign investors in the country.
While mining and agriculture are Chile’s main sectors for partnerships with the Japanese, Chile is seeking new opportunities based on local and global demand. Even with a vast selection of natural resources, the country has had to focus on which activities are relevant today, without compromising its status as a leading international business hub.
GMI Post met with Marcos Kulka, General Manager of Fundacion Chile (FCh), a non-profit public-private corporation that addresses Chile’s biggest challenges through effective collaboration. Kulka highlighted Chile’s efforts to strengthen emerging industries and adapting according to the Japanese mindset practices.
“With the Japanese, we have many similarities in terms of approaching business. Almost all the industries we have, Japan is related to that,” said Kulka, who believes that Chile can eventually become a top global economy if it enters underserved sectors, like advanced technologies.
Kulka also said that because Japan and Chile share the high risk of major earthquakes, the two countries regularly share information on how to reduce the devastation from such natural disasters. In 2016, they conducted the Chile-Japan bi-national tsunami and earthquake drill simultaneously and concluded that their cities must adopt more effective systems and technologies to reduce their vulnerabilities.
Thankfully, Chile-based company SIRVE, founded by Juan Carlos de la Llera of Universidad Pontificia Catolica de Chile, has developed earthquake resistant-technology and engineering solutions in the areas of structural design and protection, which passed the ultimate test following the massive tremor that shook Chile in 2010.
Having opened its first international office in Peru, SIRVE wants to expand further overseas and beyond Latin America.