ProChile Announces New U.S. Commercial Representation

By Peak Johnson

ProChile, the governmental institution in Chile that is solely responsible for export promotion, of both goods and services, announced two new commercial representations in the U.S., in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. last fall. 

Chile has been one of the most active proponents of free trade in the world, according to Alexander Grabois, the Philadelphia Commercial Representative for Chile, which has benefitted from an open market policy that has been in place since the 1970s.

“This policy has allowed for Chile to sign 30 Free Trade Agreements with 65 economies which accounts for 88 percent of the global GDP and means that over 4 billion people around the world can enjoy Chilean products entering into their countries under preferential trade,” Grabois said.

Philadelphia offers many initiatives that show an openness to international business and over the years the city has shown a commitment and receptiveness to Chile as a bilateral trade partner.  In November 2019, ProChile signed a three-party Memorandum of Understanding with the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia, Grabois added. 

The Memorandum includes the primary goal of increasing collaboration and business through a series of events aimed to promote Philadelphia as a key destination for Chilean goods and services exporters. 

“This agreement allows for increased opportunities to create B2B (business to business) opportunities as well as to educate Chilean exporters and innovators on the existing and future potential in the Greater Philadelphia region, presenting this opportunity as an option for international expansion,” Grabois said. “While the Chile-Greater Philadelphia Region is primarily known for its trade in commodities, as the Philadelphia Port District (including Wilmington) is one of the main ports of entry for Chilean fresh fruit, it has been paramount to continue to diversify the portfolio of Chilean goods and services in the region, in synergy with the goals of both public and private institutions in the region that look to continue to foster economic growth through high value-added sectors.”

The key focus sectors for the Philadelphia office will include: fresh fruit, salmon and other seafood, functional and healthy food and beverage products, IT services, FinTech, HealthTech/BioTech, innovation, softlandings, and logistics.

ProChile´s Philadelphia office is able to provide a range of support and additional services for local companies that may be looking to be in contact with Chilean companies, as well as assisting in strengthening and developing collaboration opportunities in the economic and trade areas. 

“ProChile´s presence in Philadelphia is a key action with a goal to increase our country´s commitment to the Greater Philadelphia region as a key bilateral trade partner in a mutually beneficial manner. One of the key goals of the office is not only to promote Chile to Greater Philadelphia but also to work to educate our large network of Chilean companies on the numerous opportunities this region offers, to incentivize them to consider the Greater Philadelphia region as a key market destination,” Grabois said. “In recent years this has also come to include support and guidance with regards to promoting Chile as a top-level tourism destination along with promotion of Chile as a key FDI destination for investors in the region.”

For Chile and its exports, the Philadelphia office serves as both a partner and a resource in identifying new opportunities as well as helping directly create employment among Chilean companies through export opportunities and international partnerships. 

Philadelphia area-based companies can reach out to the ProChile Philadelphia Trade Office where they can be assisted with access to the following services and events:

  • Direct contact and facilitation of B2B meetings with Chilean goods and services exporters.
  • Invitation to participate in various activities held by the ProChile Philadelphia Trade Office, which includes: B2B matchmaking sessions, specialized panels, webinars, and in-person events (when the pandemic recovery allows for it), among others.
  • Ability to request information on various Chilean export sectors, along with information on Chile as a Tourism and Investment destination.
  • ProChile will be able to work as a nexus in creating connections between local companies and Chilean exporters, in their respective sectors and catering to their needs with regards to volume and size.
  • Constant work and collaboration with local entities that include: Ports, Associations, Chambers of Commerce, and many others.
  • Creation of strategic partners with local entities and even the facilitation of contacts with Chilean associations along with other public and private institutions.