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Chile: The copper tiger of the south diversifies in 2013

Chile: The copper tiger of the south diversifies in 2013

Posted by PanamericanWorld on February 26, 2014

When asked about Chilean products, there are some key items that come to mind, such as wines, salmon and forest fruits. Yet, Chile is also behind everyday staples, from smartphones to refrigerators, using domestically-mined copper in its manufacturing.

The metal has been vital for Chile’s economic development over the past decades. From 2003 to 2012, copper mining, on average, contributed 13.6% of GDP, 53.7% of the country’s foreign income from exports, 32.1% of FDI inflows, 20.45% of fiscal revenues, and 0.67% of total employment. Despite the astonishing boost experienced by copper prices from US $0.81 per lb in 2003 to US $3.6 per lb in 2012, Chile has been diversifying its outgoing merchandise flows, making its economy less reliant on the market conditions of only one commodity.

Non-copper exports grew +47.6% in 2013, while mining exports’ shrank from its record 62.7% in 2010 to 57.3% in 2013. In January 2014, the downward trend was even sharper: mining exports accounted just for 47%, while the average share for the same period in the past five years stood at 54%. Copper exports in Latin America & the Caribbean decreased (7)% between 2010 and 2013. Chile’s export promotion agency, Prochile, has contributed immensely to boosting the efforts of nation's business sector, particularly for products with more value added and less availability in international markets.

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