SPECIALISTS ANALYSED THE FUTURE OF CHILEAN ECONOMY

THE ACTIVITY WAS CARRIED OUT WITHIN THE CIEPLAN-UTALCA PROGRAM. THERE WAS A CHAPTER IN TALCA AND ANOTHER AT THE GRADUATES SCHOOL AND EXTENSION CENTER IN SANTIAGO.



August 26, 2016

The challenges facing our country in order to return to growing rates close to 5% was the topic discussed at the talk entitled "Chile and the Coming Economic Cycle " given by Alejandro Foxley and Pablo Piñera, President and CEO, respectively, of the Latin America Studies Corporation (Cieplan).

The activity, part of a cycle within the Cieplan-UTALCA program framework, was carried out in two conferences; one in Talca, at he Hotel Casino premises, and the other at the Graduates School and Extension Center of the Santiago Campus.

The event began with Piñera’s speech, who, after reviewing the stagnation of key indicators, such as investments and savings, in addition to a remarkable increase in government expenditures, he warned that the expansion of the Chilean economy will stay in a range slightly above the one expected for 2016.

"Gross Domestic Product is falling. This year it is estimated at 1.5%, which for Chile is very unambitious, and it is estimated that for the next few years it will grow little, between 2% and 3%, which is not satisfactory for the tremendous requirements that this country has in terms of greater equality of opportunities for all Chileans", he said.

He added that the climate of distrust, which currently prevails in the country, helps little to reverse this forecast.

"There is a tremendous lack of confidence at all levels, business, political, Government, the Catholic Church. In a climate of so much uncertainty it is very difficult that a country can meet high growth rates", he said, after which he added that to meet the challenges of the future and return to growth rates of 5%, it is necessary to reverse this environment.

In this context, Alejandro Foxley was the one who put the note of optimism. "I am convinced that Chile will recover its ability to grow at 5%," he said.

To do this, he added that, together with measures to increase productivity, investment and saving, among other factors, there are two dilemmas that the country must be solve: how the transition is guided to create conditions for economic growth and, at the same time, to explain and make understand to the population that, even if we have to move forward to meet the new demands of the middle sectors, everything can’t be done at the same time.

"What is the solution? To advance in these different components in a gradual way. And how is people convinced of this gradual way? We have to truly convey that in this we are all together, i.e., firstly, we must be able to really listen, secondly, of applying, and thirdly, to said 'look, let’s find a common ground in which we all agree on the basic, strategic way,' a thing that is not happening today ", he explained.

"As we are able to build this encounter place, this reunion, this dialogue, this policy of agreements and consensus, I believe that we will have an extremely satisfactory and promising life horizon ", he stressed.

Along with highlighting the quality of both speeches, Arcadio Cerda, Dean of the Department of Economics and Business, where the Cieplan - UTALCA program is based, stressed that "the country must return to the path of growth via innovation, competitiveness and, in general, increasing the productive factors".



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