Why Chile Is Chasing Tech Over Copper

Aug 3, 2018 | 09:30 GMT

An electric substation in Santiago, Chile.

An electric substation in Santiago, Chile. Its power infrastructure will pose a formidable obstacle to Chile's push to attract technology investments.



  • Chile will seek to diversify its economy away from a dependence on copper by becoming a technology hub in South America.
  • Chile’s new visa system for technology workers and entrepreneurs will make the country more attractive to tech giants like Amazon, which are seeking to make large-scale investments.
  • Large technology investments require massive upgrades to Chile’s power grid, but the country is likely to succeed in making such improvements in concert with other South American countries.

Copper is big business in Chile, which exports more of the metal than any other country in the world. The commodity's importance to Chile is unlikely to change anytime soon, but if Santiago has its way, something else will soon help propel the nation forward: technology. Chile's dependence on the mining sector, especially copper, has convinced the government to push forward with plans to transform the country into a tech hub in South America. And although two issues -- education and electricity -- stand in the way of Chile's tech dreams, even they are unlikely to obstruct the country's plans for long....

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