Chile Country Report
President Sebastián Piñera took office on 11 March 2018, and is likely to review former President Michelle Bachelet's tax and labour reform, but only minor changes are probable. Piñera will seek to reduce corporate tax rates and simplify the tax regime. Disruption in Santiago is likely during protests by students and organisations demanding pension reform. Mapuche protests are driven by land and indigenous rights issues, with fringe groups carrying arson attacks in southern Chile against agriculture, forestry, and cargo companies. Anarchist groups sometimes mount sporadic, small, improvised explosive device attacks, mostly in Santiago against banks, cash machines, government buildings, stores, and public transportation. Rising copper prices are likely to contributeto economic growth, projected at 3% in 2018.
Chile's operational environment is marked by positive attitudes towards foreign direct investment, highly developed infrastructure, low levels of corruption, and a relatively liberal labour market. The economy is robust and the country has a well-educated population. Foreign companies are treated the same as domestic companies in almost all industries. Chile's operational outlook is underpinned by consolidated institutions and solid macroeconomic stability. However, mining companies face high, although declining, energy prices, strikes and environmental scrutiny, which can lead to project delays and cancellation risks.
Terrorism risks in Chile remain low, but there is a moderate risk of anarchist groups targeting banks, public transport infrastructure, offices, and government buildings with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mostly in the capital Santiago. Two IED attacks against the Santiago metro in July and September 2014 injured at least 14 people. These groups, however, consist of a handful of members and appear disorganised. Mapuche indigenous extremists in the southern Araucanía region often carry out arson attacks on rural estates, cargo trucks, warehouses, and assets of forestry firms, in demand of land ownership and rights.
Chile has two disputes with Bolivia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Bolivia presented a case in 2013 over its claim for sovereign access to the sea, lost during the War of the Pacific (1879–83). A ruling is expected for 2018–19. In 2016, Chile presented another case to the ICJ over the use of the Silala waters. However, war between both countries is very unlikely.
Demonstrations by students, teachers, workers, and civil society occur in Santiago, Valparaíso, and Concepción. Alameda Avenue and Plaza Italia in Santiago are hotspots for protests, although they spread throughout the city centre and occasionally upmarket neighbourhoods, including Providencia. Demonstrations are generally peaceful, but sometimes result in confrontations with police. Looting of stores and damage to bank branches and transport infrastructure can occur. There is a risk of indigenous Mapuche unrest in Araucanía region over land issues; roadblocks and arson attacks on forestry firms' property are likely.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Chile, spread along the Andes mountain range, is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.
The country is situated along the Nazca fault (north) and experiences a great deal of seismic activity. On February 27, 2010, an extremely violent earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 - one of the strongest earthquakes recorded in over 100 years - struck the country; the earthquake and subsequent tsunami left more than 700 people dead (including 350 in Constitución) and caused considerable material damage. More recently, in September 2015, an 8.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, resulting in material damages in the Coquimbo region and at least 15 deaths, as well as some 3000 aftershocks; the Chilean government received much praise for its prompt response to the earthquake and ensuing tsunami threat. Generally speaking, due to stringent building standards and earthquake-resistant construction techniques, the vast majority of earthquakes do not result in any major infrastructural damages or casualties.
Chile, located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, is also home to a number active volcanoes, e.g. the Calbuco, Guallatiri, Chaitén, Llaima , Lascar, Copahue, etc. Eruptions can lead to evacuations, flight disruptions, and health hazards due to volcanic ash in the air.
Driving restrictions are regularly introduced in the Santiago region during periods of particularly high air pollution (see HEALTH section). This is most common during the fall and winter months (May to September).
Primary and secondary roads are generally in good condition. However, winter storms can result in hazardous driving conditions and/or closed roads, particularly in mountainous areas (e.g. at border crossings with Argentina) and in the south.
Air travel is safe.
The climate is arid in the north, Mediterranean in the center (Santiago, Valparaiso), and cold in the south.
In the center of the country, summers (December to February) are hot (28°C) and dry while winters are cool (10°) and rainy. Heading south, the climate becomes temperate but rainy throughout the year with the exception of summer. In the extreme south of the country (Patagonia), temperatures are cool (11°C in the summer) with regular rain and strong winds throughout the year.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz