AIA PROMOTES BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT IN CHINA
Attracting capital and technology and promoting linkages between suppliers were the central aims of the business association's visit to the Asian giant. It is the largest consumer of Chilean copper exports, receiving 46.8% of shipments of the red metal over the last year, according to the COCHILCO copper and minerals statistics annual for 2007-2016. Since 2005, it has upheld an FTA with our country, which has served to facilitate trade between both countries, reaching US$31.474 billion in 2016, according to Investchile. Despite this, the penetration of major Chinese capital into Chilean markets still has a long way to go. With this in mind, the challenge of capturing interest and making China into one of the three largest investors in Chile in the short term, generating a necessary turning point in the behavior of Asian investors, is what motivated the Antofagasta Industrial Association (AIA) to travel to China and carry out a full program of activities aimed at achieving these goals. Attracting investment and technology was a key part of this effort. Fernando Cortez, General Manager of the Association commented that "the lessons learned from the 2015-2016 period point to the importance of constantly searching for and applying the latest technologies in the mining sector. Together with the sustained expansion in the presence of our top copper consumer, through investment in this and other economic sectors, this should be the driver behind activities in China to promote our country, and of course, the Region of Antofagasta". The AIA's business mission to the Asian giant included meetings with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), an association representing over four thousand suppliers, as well as participation in the international China Mining show. Suppliers Over the course of the next decade, the Asian giant will invest around US$250 billion in Latin America. Of this amount, US$10 billion will be pumped into a fund created by the Chinese Central Bank for bilateral cooperation in the region, according to experts. This action is a clear sign of the importance of building commercial links between suppliers in both countries in key areas of the nation's principal economic sector. "Building and strengthening alliances and networks with Chinese suppliers and business associations is vital in order to increase investment from this country, particularly in the Region of Antofagasta. In order to achieve this, we have met with associations from this country in order to generate a channel of communication that will benefit our suppliers", Cortez emphasized.