The Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Lucas Palacios, commented this morning on the busy agenda of meetings he has held in Davos, Switzerland, with different investors and representatives of countries investing in Chile , in the context of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
In conversation with Radio Duna’s Privileged Information program, the Secretary of State highlighted his bilaterals with senior executives from international technology companies, such as Teresa Carlson, Amazon Web’s Global Vice President for the Public Sector Services (AWS), in addition to the sustained dialogue with Eduardo Padilla Silva, CEO of Femsa, array of chains such as Cruz Verde, Oxxo and Maicao, among others.
«Tomorrow I have a meeting of Brad Smith, Microsoft’s global president; Uber’s CEO, and yesterday we talked to the people of Femsa. In short, with many technology companies intending to invest in Chile, and that’s important because they want to know also from first source what is happening in our country, and what is the institutional strategy that we are leading to out, it makes a lot of sense to them, » said Palacios.
The owner of Economía, argued that these instances of direct contact with investors represent a good alternative to reinforce the message of confidence in the soundness of our political and economic system.
«There are international companies that want to invest in Chile, as they see that the current situation will be overcome. Chile has shown to solve its problems by the institutional route, which is what we are doing and is being recognized,» he said.
Asked about the tone in which our country has been referred in the various instances of the Forum, the Secretary of State indicated that «here no one can believe that Chile’s growth has suddenly collapsed and is not taking advantage of economic conditions to grow more, generate more jobs with higher wages, and attract more investment.»
«Representatives of other countries agree that it is one thing to want to improve social conditions, and quite another to negatively affect the economy,» he added.
However, he stressed that despite the internal difficulties», it «has positively attracted the attention that our country has led to the social crisis on the institutional side, with a very clear strategy on the part of the President of the Republic, with national agreements constitutional matters and matters of social peace.»
IMF downward review
Asked about the «significant downward review» for Chile’s GDP anticipated yesterday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in his World Economic Outlook report, Minister Palacios called the announcement «very regrettable» as «our country needs to grow and is a country that has always been closely linked to the international environment.»
In its analysis, it argued that the recent China-U.S. trade agreement generates «increased demand for Chilean products and commodities, such as copper and other metals. So it is a very good time for Chile from an international point of view, and now the challenge is to give the right signals to reverse the pessimistic trend that is being generated in terms of trade and investment. We must quickly react as our country has always done, which in the face of difficulties is great.»
«So if what we want is to move forward a social agenda, if what we want is to take advantage of this international bonanza, we have to already overcome that pessimism that some actors have in Chile and generate the confidence we need to reinvest and resume our growth rate as soon as possible,» he said.
Palacios added that in this «the Government has put everything on its side. The budget for 2020 is very substantive, it is almost 10% more than in 2019. The bills of the social agenda are already presented in Congress. That is, we have put everything on our side, but the state represents only 22% of the economy and 18% in what is investment, therefore we also need private economic operators, the rest of the economy, to also bend down and trust our country because that’s going to be for everyone’s benefit.»