Word of the President

2014 for our Belgochilian Chamber of Commerce

Dear members and friends of Chile,

Chile remains the most performing economy of its region, with the highest GDP level per capita (US $ 23.000 $ measured in PPP), the first rank on the UN Human Development index, but also on the economic freedom index calculated by the Heritage Foundation and on the global competitiveness index from the World Economic Forum. This  “Fish Driver” for Latin America, as visionary qualified by General De Gaulle during his visit to Chile in 1965, offers attractive opportunities for our Belgian firms and Universities. Our Chamber has been dedicating constant efforts to develop closer links between Chilean and Belgian firms and citizens.

This year our Chamber reached the highest membership, with 68 paying members, and we are glad to contribute better each year to support them and their projects with Chile.

Our activities are not limited to the traditional support to our members in Chile or in the preparation of their projects, but we also assist under request the Chilean companies in Belgium, and we contribute to improve the mutual knowledge of cultures and history of both countries.

Since the economic mission led by HM Prince Philip in 2011 and since the preparation to the Business and Academic Summits of Santiago between the EU and the CELAC countries, our Chamber – in cooperation with the Belgian regional organizations – has been active too in trying to define and match strategic alliances between Belgian and Chilean firms as well as universities and researchers. This activity focuses mainly upon innovation and creation of synergies and complementarities between both economies in order to meet better the challenge of globalization. As decided in our General Assemblies of the recent years, this is our main priority, all the more as the next Bi-regional Summits will be held in Brussels in May 2015, with a Business and an Academic Summits the purpose of which will be to deal with innovation and technology transfer from universities to firms and SMEs.

Another line of actions is to develop a specific support to our members which are interested to extend their Chilean activities to the economies belonging to the Pacific Alliance – a region in fast and efficient integration enjoying a very high economic growth – either from their Chilean bases or in connection with their projects in Chile. In this direction cooperation with other bilateral Chambers are already in active consideration.

Christian Ghymers, President.

Word of the President 2013