Chile Day Celebrated at Manchester United Home Ground
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — While Ángelo Henríquez has been the big Chilean name at Old Trafford, September 10 saw a wide range of Chilean delegates working to promote everything about Chile at the famous ground.
As part of the programme of Chile Day in England, Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín opened the seminar “Opportunities in Chile” in Manchester. The event aimed to develop trade links between the UK and Chile with over 100 British companies from across the UK registered to learn more about trading with Chile. It was organised by UKTI together with ProChile and was sponsored by HSBC Bank.
That so many British companies signed-up to discover what the Chilean market has to offer speaks volumes of the growing interest in the United Kingdom towards Chile and the Region. This interest is reflected in increased bilateral trade which last year reached over £1billion (approx $US 1.6 billion) for the first time. The event gave an introduction to the country and set out more specific opportunities in the mining and energy sectors – both areas where UK capabilities match Chilean requirements.
Alongside the Chilean Finance Minister, Alan Beattie, Head of Commercial Banking Latin America at HSBC Bank, gave his view on the importance of Chile in the Region. Representatives of ProChile and UKTI met UK companies interested in the market to learn how the two trade promotion agencies can help companies develop partnerships with Chile.
The day culminated in a speech by Sebastian Aguirre, marketing manager at Concha y Toro, who explained his company’s links with Manchester United FC – Old Trafford being the venue for the event. The football link is particularly timely with Manchester United soon to welcome 18-year-old Chilean striker Ángelo Henríquez. He becomes the first Chilean to play for the world-famous club.
After the signing of Henríquez, Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson said the club would step up their recruitment efforts in Latin America. “Our scouting there has increased” he said to Inside United magazine. He added, “They certainly produce. They love football, it’s in their blood.”
A trade mission from England’s North West region will come to visit Chile in November.