The long-lasting partnership between Chile and the Netherlands has created jobs, sound investments, and promising opportunities for the people of both nations.
Chile and the Netherlands have a long-standing bilateral relationship. Although the commerce between the two countries still has a good growth potential, the Netherlands is a large investor in Chile. The Netherlands (and its private sector) is also recognized in Chile for its innovative capabilities, its focus on sustainability and its cooperative approach, through including government and knowledge institutions in the achievement of business solutions.
The EU and Chile concluded an Association Agreement in 2002, which includes a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in 2003 covering EU-Chile trade relations. A modernization of the Association Agreement, including the trade part, is currently being negotiated. The EU is Chile’s third-largest trade partner.
The growing economic ties between the Netherlands and Chile support many jobs, a result of exports from Chile to the Netherlands and investments made by Dutch companies in Chile.
With exports from Chile to the Netherlands of 1.6 billion US$ in 2018, of which mainly fruits, vegetables and wine (Netherlands are the main destiny for Chile´s exports) and imports of 460 million US$, consisting of a plethora of products, there is an enormous potential for commerce between our two countries. Both countries rely on their open economy and score high on the ease-of-doing-business ranking. Chile has a powerhouse retail landscape, that dominates the Latin American retail, is set on improving its innovative capacity and has a strong drive towards sustainability, not in the last place because of its ongoing draughts.
The Netherlands is the 4th largest capital investor in Chile for the past 5 years, indicating what level of trust there is in this economically and politically stable society, even though they went through a rough patch at the end of 2019 and have managed so far to curb the effects of the pandemic with a very large loan (no questions asked) from the IMF.
The Dutch business community in Chile is thriving and is increasingly connected through the recently established Holland House Chile, as is the Dutch community in general.
Dutch companies in Chile are many, and in all fields of industry. From Heineken to KLM, from (Uni)Lever to DSM, but also AkzoNobel, Philips, Signify, Arcadis, Fugro, Rabobank, Steinweg, Nijhuis, Van Oordt, etc. Many of these companies show up in many rankings on innovation and/or sustainability.
The Dutch have been innovators and inventors for more than 800 years, going back to the nation’s first attempts to create farmland out of marshes using windmills to drain the water.
Since that time, the Netherlands has contributed many revolutionizing inventions, scientific discoveries, works of art, and engineering feats. The Dutch startup culture and can-do mentality makes it the perfect incubator for innovative solutions. A few examples include the submarine, the compact disc, EKG, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, the stormproof umbrella, and much more.
DGA: Dirección General de Agua, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (www.dga.cl)
GORE: Gobierno Regional
CDRP: Corporación Regional de Desarrollo Productivo (www.crdp.cl)
DOP: Dirección de Obras Portuarias, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (www.dop.cl)
DOH: Dirección de Obras Hidráulicas, Ministerio de Obras Públicas (www.doh.gov.cl)
APR: Agua Potable Rural (www.doh.gov.cl/apr/acercadeapr/paginas/acercaapr.aspx)
With its extremely elongated shape, 4,000 kilometres from north to south, and geographic diversity, Chile has a multitude of water issues. The availability of water is one of the most urgent issues. The north of Chile in particular is extremely dry. In 2019, the Netherlands and Chile started the GIRAgua recharge pilot project aimed at water retention and underground storage in the Coquimbo region.
The GIRAgua recharge pilot project is looking at the catchment area of the Elqui River which flows from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. This catchment has hardly any water in the dry season, but does have water in the rainy season which then disappears straight into the sea. The project consists of aquifer recharge and underground storage practices to contribute to integrated water management of the Coquimbo region. The project is an initiative of a Dutch consortium led by Deltares and co-implemented with Chilean partners. Financially, GIRAgua is supported by the subsidy scheme of the Dutch Partners for Water programme and the Government of the Coquimbo region.