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Government launches measures to promote investment and reactivate growth

President Sebastián Piñera today signed the Pro-Investment Agenda bill and a decree that creates the Sustainable Project Management Office, two measures designed to streamline and revitalize investment in Chile and improve the quality of life of all Chileans.

In an effort to counteract the decline or stalling of investment projects as a result of excessive red tape, President Piñera signed the Pro-Investment Agenda bill and a decree that establishes the Sustainable Project Management Office.

These initiatives aimed at boosting investment include a series of measures and proposals designed to jumpstart the economy so that Chile can return to strong growth and its path toward becoming a developed country. They are also meant to reestablish trust and serve as strong drivers of investment, competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is important to note that economic reactivation is one of the key commitments and priorities of President Piñera’s platform, meant to ensure that over the next decade Chile will become the first country in Latin America to achieve comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable development.

Pro-Investment initiatives

The new Sustainable Project Management Office will coordinate and streamline permit processes for major public and private investment projects in Chile. Toward that end, it will coordinate with all public agencies responsible for issuing permits and approvals to ensure that the timeframes set out in the regulations are met and that licensing and permitting processes are transparent.

According to a survey conducted by the Finance Ministry, the total amount of pending investments in the country is US$65 billion, which could result in 250,000 additional jobs.

“Starting up those projects is fundamental to ensuring that Chile experiences strong growth again,” the President said.

The Pro-Investment Agenda will promote a climate and legal environment that are conducive to investment in Chile, eliminating regulatory flaws or obstacles and modernizing and improving the efficiency of government procedures. “We believe that Chile can do a great deal more in the areas of growth, job creation, and salary increases than we have seen in recent years.

Therefore, our duty is to recoup the leadership and dynamism that were lost and return Chile to the path of progress and development,” Piñera said.

The President announced 12 specific measures, listed below, aimed at stimulating investment projects. In the coming days, the administration will also announce the creation of a working group for a National Development Agreement.

1. Enable municipalities to immediately grant two-year temporary permits to all businesses that meet legal requirements.

2. Implement a digital platform for all Municipal Works Directorate procedures.

3. Significantly reduce approval times for water projects.

4. Enable the provision of guarantees, pledges or mortgages related to maritime concessions.
5. Create a digital platform for receiving and processing all submissions related to water usage rights.

6. Enable SERNAGEOMIN to update the Mining Concessions Registry.

7. Regulate the temporary suspension of new projects to prevent unfounded claims from halting major investment projects.

8. Facilitate administrative procedures for the acquisition or exercise of rights, allowing independent reviewers to conduct inspections that often take years to complete through the public sector.

9. Enable environmental prevention and clean-up plans to distinguish between different types of pollution sources.

10. Enable the Environmental Assessment Service to omit statements submitted by public agencies when such statements are baseless or are completely outside of their purview.
11. Establish a procedure allowing interested parties to submit a project for environmental evaluation and obtain a preliminary ruling from the respective authority to determine whether such evaluation is pertinent.

12. Strengthen the role of the Environmental Assessment Service as a one-stop window for all sector permits issued by the government in relation to evaluation of an investment project.

 

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