I wrote about my experience in Chile earlier. On my way back on a 9 1/2 hour flight from Santiago to Dallas, I was thinking about ways that a US company can leverage Chile. I think there are multiple plays possible.

*  Chile can be a talent resource for the Latin American market. A company from any OECD country can tap into the highly educated talent pool of Chile to design their products or service for the Latin American market. Chile has world class educational institutions, people with good work ethics and an existing infrastructure for the talent to operate. The cost arbitrage is limited compared to India for global delivery business. It’s a great location for the Latin American markets and Hispanic marks in USA.

* Santiago is an ideal location for launching products within the Latin American markets. One can find major international brands present in Chile. One can also find sales and marketing teams locally. It is easy to attract talent from other countries to move to Santiago as the quality of life is high and immigration is user friendly

* This can be a stretch at this point of time, however Chile can be a future hot spot for Research and Development. Three areas of interest include: knowledge process sectors; agriculture; and renewable energy including geothermal and algae based bio fuels.

Santiago is an overnight journey for US companies. It has an advantage of having nearly the same time zones as the US. It is also easily approachable from Europe. In addition to the business opportunities, Chile is also a great country to take holidays. It has beach towns like Vina del mar, wine country in central Chile, the wilderness of Patagonia in the south and the desert landscape in the north. I will continue to observe and write about Chile as we are in the process of setting up our operation in Chile.