It’s nice to be back in Chile. This is a country that I have come to love and appreciate over the last several years, not only for its incredible beauty and highly civilized culture, but also for the massive opportunities that await energetic, professional, creative individuals.
Foreigners are welcomed here, particularly those who are willing to invest or start a business; the government has provided a great deal of incentives to attract talented people, ranging from easy immigration procedures to government funding for startups to lower tax rates.
Chile’s corporate tax rate, temporarily set at 20%, is set to decrease to 18.5% next year, and 17% the following year. This puts Chile in a similar class as Hong Kong (16.5%), Singapore (up to 17%) and Estonia (18% in 2012).
Opportunities in Chile vary, but they are all derived from the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals, rising (and wealthy) middle class, immense resource wealth, high productivity, growing intellectual capital, and support for free market principles.
This is not a country that prints, borrows, confiscates, or imports its way to prosperity.
Taking advantage of the opportunities on the ground in Chile, or anywhere else for that matter, requires just that– being on the ground. There is no substitute for being there, wherever ‘there’ happens to be. This is critical to success.
It’s often a night and day difference between the conventional wisdom you’ll read about in the mainstream media vs. what you see with your own eyes. A great example of this is New York-based Auerbach Grayson, an investment firm that has specialized in forgotten international markets for the last 20 years.
Sure, Brazil, China, and Indonesia are popular with mainstream institutional investors these days… but Auerbach Grayson has been working in places like Malawi, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, and Zambia for years. They succeed because they have presence on the ground, and perhaps more importantly, access.
Building great contacts is also critical to success, and this can be even more important when going overseas. In a world where “who you know” can be more important than “what you know,” you’re either someone with great contacts, or you’re someone who wonders how the other guy has such great contacts.
Fortunately, it’s much easier to network with influential people overseas, especially in developing countries. You might not get invited to the White House or Buckingham Palace anytime soon, but it doesn’t take too much effort to rub elbows with the political and financial elite in smaller jurisdictions.
I’ve been able to build strong networks around the globe, and there are a few tried and true methods that have worked for me over and over again in the past. I wrote about these in 2009′s Network Infiltration Report that was published on this site. It’s completely free, and you can download it here.
No matter what constraints may govern your personal situation, I believe you will find the information valuable, whether you are an employee working your way up the corporate ladder, an entrepreneur seeking new funding, a lonely single searching for a companion, an investor looking for a great opportunity, or a new expatriate trying to meet local insiders.
I credit these techniques with a large part of my success, and I hope you find them beneficial as well.
Lastly, as a reminder, we are holding an informational teleconference about the Atlas 400 group on Tuesday, April 5th at 3pm Eastern Time. Atlas is a great example of a strong, influential network, and I welcome the opportunity to tell you more about it on the phone next week.Sign up here to receive the call-in instructions.