SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday that the “solidity of our economy” will allow the South American country to weather the impact of falling global prices for copper, its chief export.
“We have heard news about the price of copper that worries us, but we are a responsible country that manages its public finances with prudence,” she said during the inauguration of the Chile International Investment Forum 2016.
“The world is connected. We are not indifferent to what happens at the international level, but we are working and we believe we are prepared to protect the citizenry, maintain economic growth and attract more foreign investment to Chile,” the president said.
The forum in Santiago brought together representatives of 46 companies in 21 countries interested in investing in various sectors of Chile’s economy.
Bachelet urged attendees to take advantage of “economic opportunities in Chile resulting from our multiple networks of trade and multilateral agreements of every kind, and benefitting from our stability, reliability and capacity.”
The economic environment that Chile has built in recent decades is “very beneficial for business and for all of us.”
Copper, viewed as the mainstay of Chile’s economy, closed Monday on the London Metal Exchange at $1.99 per pound, the lowest price since May 18, 2009.
After yet another “Black Monday” in Chinese financial markets, the price of copper fell 1.87 percent from its closing at the end of last week, with the median monthly and annual price dropping to $2.06 per pound.
A one-cent change in the annual average price of copper represents for Chile nearly $40 million gained or lost taxes and a swing of roughly $91 million in the balance of payments.