Piñera to CNN: Chile a Developed Country by 2020
In a recent interview on CNN’s Business Traveler, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera expressed his confidence that Chile will become a developed nation by 2020.
President Piñera told CNN’s Richard Quest that the investments made by his government would lead to “a time of harvest” over the next two years remaining in his presidency.
“We will be able to show to the Chilean people that their country is absolutely able to defeat poverty, to overcome underdevelopment, and to join the First World,” he proudly announced.
It is his vision to continue to open Chile to the world by increasing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), not only with the large economies of the US and China, but with smaller countries like Vietnam.
“We have realized that we must be integrated into the world,” he said. “We have to compete… which is why we have FTAs with the US, Europe, China, India, Japan, Korea – you name it.”
The President is also attempting to diversify Chile’s economic base, especially towards digital and knowledge based industries. To this end, Start-Up Chile, an initiative established in 2010, gives out grants of US$40,000 to entrepreneurs from inside and outside Chile. Once the first phase is completed in 2014, it is estimated that approximately 1,000 companies will have received a total of US$40 million.
“What they will teach to our people is very, very valuable. To have a stable economy, to have a stable democracy, and to have a modern government is not enough. We have to build new pillars of development. Education, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and higher equality.”
Chile is also looking to the different global organizations that it belongs to, such as APEC, which will add to their global credibility.
Piñera is sure that Chile will continue to grow and prosper even in light of the ongoing European financial crisis, the US approaching its “fiscal cliff”, and a definite slowdown in China.
“I am very convinced that in these next two years, we will be able – even though the world will be in the middle of a crisis – to keep moving forward at good pace, and with very good direction.”