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Canada Trade Mission to Chile

Join the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, for an in-market Canada Trade Mission that will explore sustainable business opportunities in Chile’s clean technology sector.

Event details

Date: January 8 to 12, 2023
Sector: Clean technology: clean energy, green mining, green building and infrastructure, and water and waste water
Market: Chile
Format: In-market

Why Chile?

Canada and Chile enjoy a strong bilateral and commercial relationship, with 81 years of diplomatic relations. This year, 2022, marks the 25th anniversary of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and its parallel agreements on the environment and labour cooperation coming into force, which have created significant benefits and opportunities for Canadian companies. Both countries share a commitment to inclusive trade and actively work to reduce trade barriers for under-represented exporters.

Canadian companies have preferential access to the Chilean market through the CCFTA and greater exposure in the country thanks to our substantial investment footprint. Bilateral merchandise trade has nearly quadrupled since the CCFTA came into force in 1997 and surpassed Can$3 billion for the first time in 2021. That year, Canada exported more than $1.2 billion in merchandise to Chile, making it Canada’s second-largest trading partner in South and Central America.

Canadian companies are well respected and known for adopting best practices internationally, a reputation strengthened by Canada’s strategy for responsible business conduct abroad, which launched on April 28, 2022. Chile is Canada’s largest investment destination in South and Central America, creating opportunities for Canadian innovative solutions (goods, services and equipment), including in the clean technology sector. Canadian direct investment in Chile reached Can$22.4 billion in 2021, with a diversified portfolio in mining, energy, infrastructure, gas, water, chemicals, transportation, agriculture and aquaculture, and storage and financial services (banking and insurance).

Chile’s clean technology sector creates opportunities for Canadian companies

Demand for clean technology solutions and related services is growing rapidly as the country transitions to a low-carbon economy to fight climate change.

Clean energy

Although it has been an oil import-dependent country for more than 50 years, Chile has now become one of the largest clean energy markets in the region because of its significant advantage in renewable generation, mainly solar and wind.

  • The Chilean government plans to spend $193 million to co-finance a research institute for clean technologies with a focus on three industrial areas: (1) solar energy; (2) low-emission mining; and (3) advanced materials of lithium and other minerals for e-mobility and energy storage.
  • Chile has implemented strong clean-energy policies (for example, renewable targets of 20% by 2025, 60% by 2035 and 70% by 2050), and is committed to completely phasing out coal-fired plants by 2040. In 2021, Chile had already surpassed its 2025 renewable target by 7%, 4 years ahead of schedule.
  • In March 2022, Chile passed a law making its 2050 target for carbon neutrality legally binding. It also released detailed climate change adaptation plans for key sectors of the economy, including tourism, agriculture and infrastructure.

In November 2020, Chile released its National Green Hydrogen Strategy, which sets out the country’s ambition to be one of the world’s leading producers of green hydrogen. The strategy aims to have Chile produce the lowest green hydrogen cost in the world (lower than US$1.50/kg) by 2030 and for it to be one of 3 largest exporters of green hydrogen and its derivatives by 2040.

  • The government thinks green hydrogen has the potential to be as relevant as the mining sector currently is in the national economy (refer to Green mining below). Developing the domestic green hydrogen industry will also help to decarbonize productive activities such as mining, oil and gas, transportation, and agriculture.
  • To build local supply chains and acquire experience, green hydrogen will be deployed in six priority applications, including mining.

Green mining

The mining sector accounts for over 30% of Chile’s energy consumption and is the leading economic sector, contributing to approximately 15% of Chile’s GDP. It is Canada’s largest investment sector in Chile. As a crucial component of Chile’s overall economy, the mining industry recognizes the impact of climate change and seeks to implement decarbonization strategies in its quest to achieve a green-minded mining industry.

  • Chilean mining companies are keen to incorporate clean technologies in their operations to reduce fuel/diesel consumption and achieve operational efficiencies.
  • Fresh water is of particular concern to miners, as it is a key component in ore processing. Over the past decade, Chile has been experiencing the worst drought in its history, with rain levels dropping by 20% to 40%.
  • Chile’s water scarcity, resulting from years of drought, has sparked great interest in water efficiencies and in building desalination plants. State-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, plans to cut carbon emissions by 70%, reduce inland water consumption by 60% and recycle 65% of its industrial water by 2030.

Specific opportunities exist for Canadian suppliers of clean technologies and services that help miners reach net-zero goals across their operations, including:

  • electrification of transportation fleet and equipment
  • optimization of mining and desalination processes
  • fuel/diesel displacement
  • energy efficient water treatment and pumping technologies

Green building and infrastructure

Santiago is one of the most sustainable cities in Latin America. Public awareness of sustainable practices and support for investment in green infrastructure, engineering and construction is high. In 2010, the Chile Green Building Council (GBC Chile), a non-profit organization, was established to promote and boost sustainable construction and development, technological innovation, and the certification of sustainable constructions. According to GBC Chile, there are 197 LEED-certified buildings and 438 LEED activities (including certified and ongoing projects) in Chile.

There are opportunities for Canadian companies that provide products/services or technological solutions that respond to the following needs in Chile’s green building sector:

  • more efficient use of energy and increased use of renewable energy (for example, solar panels)
  • efficient use of water (for example, grey water reuse)
  • use of construction materials made from non-toxic, recyclable and renewable resources (for example, recycled and natural content insulation)
  • sustainable urban planning services that help improve the quality of life and health of people and communities
  • efficient lighting control and energy management systems
  • intelligent building control systems (for example, home automation)
  • heat and energy recovery systems
  • innovative concrete applications (for example, high performance concrete)

Water and waste water

Chile’s water utilities sector is privately operated through concessions that are renewed every 20 to 30 years. Canadian investors hold approximately 45% of the water utilities market in Chile.

Key concerns related to Chilean water utilities include:

  • responding to water scarcity by applying energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions to water treatment, storage and distribution
  • finding digital solutions to monitor leak detection, conducting remote sewage-pipe inspection and real-time quality control, and predicting disruptive events
  • providing sustainable asset management of aging infrastructure

Who can participate?

Canadian export-ready businesses with strong potential to address clean technology opportunities in Chile, in the following sub-sectors:

  • clean energy, such as renewables, green hydrogen, smart grid technologies and energy storage
  • green building and infrastructure
  • green mining
  • clean water and waste water applications for water utility companies

Program (* in development)

The in-market program will visit commercial regions in Chile’s clean technology sector and will include:

  • networking opportunities with Minister Ng and the local business community
  • on-site business briefings by our trade commissioners
  • market overviews of Chile’s clean technology sector and sub-sectors
  • business round tables with local industry and experts
  • B2B meetings
  • site visits (where applicable)

A limited number of Canadian clean technology companies will be selected for the in-market program.

All applications for the in-market program will be screened for suitability based on the trade mission’s focus and applicants’ capacity to provide the needed services and/or goods in Chile.

If you are selected to be part of the business delegation, you will be provided a detailed program to help you with organizing travel arrangements.

Travel considerations

Before deciding to travel, please review the travel health notice for COVID-19 and international travel. No matter where you plan on travelling, make sure you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip and again shortly before you leave. Safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements, including all air and ground transportation to and from the airport.

Participants are responsible for covering all related travel costs, including airfare, accommodations, ground transportation and meals not included in the program.

Please make sure to purchase cancellation insurance and/or a refundable ticket in the event that the mission dates change.

Register

Register by November 25, 2022 at 17:00 EST.

Canada Trade Mission virtual information session (video recorded October 25, 2022)

Deciding to participate in a trade mission or enter a new market can be a big investment, even for the most seasoned exporters. Consult the video of the virtual information session that took place on October 25, 2022 (Duration: 2.5 hours) to get a market overview, details about opportunities in Chile and how this trade mission can help you achieve your business development objectives.

You will hear from our trade commissioners and export partners, all of whom have strong local networks and in-depth knowledge of doing business in this market

Key contacts

Find out more about the trade mission and the Trade Commissioner Service.

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