03 July 2017 | 6:45
Sandra Misic

Projects and project management in Chile

The Republic of Chile is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Santiago de Chile is the largest city of the country, nearly half of the total population (18 Mio.) lives in the capital.

The history of Chile starts with a mention of the Mapuche, indigenous people living in the south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. They successfully resisted the expansion of the Inca empire. Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to set foot on the ground of Chile. He was attempting to circumnavigate the globe and discovered the southern passage in 1520, which is now named after him. In 1541, Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarro’s lieutenants, founded the city of Santiago and thus Chile became part of the Spanish Empire. Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chile. In 1810, a junta proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. After a period of struggles and warfare, in 1818 Chile declared full interdependence. During the following years Chile sought to clarify its borders to all neighboring countries. However, that was not the last struggle of the Chilean people. Internal fights of the oligarchs, a civil war and the Pinochet era brought unrest and hindered the development of the country. Nowadays, Chile is a presidential republic and one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations. It is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The economy of Chile was developing well during the last decades. The country is considered one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations. With a GDP of $ 260 billion it is ranked as a high-income economy by the World Bank. However the growth slowed down in recent years due to political instability. One of the reasons may be that Chile has still a high economic inequality, which is still close to the regional mean. Main sectors are agriculture, mining and services. Chile is exporting copper, grapes and other produce, chemicals, fish and seafood, paper and pulp, wine, lumber and gold. The country is member in several Trade organizations, including but not limited to WTO, APEC, OECD and Mercosur. Regarding project business, the development of infrastructure is certainly a key area for investment. A report  outlines the prospects as follows: “In terms of investment, infrastructure stands out as particularly attractive. The Chilean government has a significant focus on large-scale investment in infrastructure in order to advance the country’s economic development and prosperity. More specifically, the government hopes to reach its goal of a per capita income of over US$30,000 with development level similar to that of Italy and Spain. Such is Chile’s appetite for growth that President Michelle Bachelet recently signed legislation for an infrastructure fund. With assets of around US$9 billion, the fund will 99% controlled by the Treasury with 1% under the control Corfo, the state development agency.” Examples for large infrastructure projects are the expansion of the airport, the Santiago Metro expansion programme and the Vespucci Urban Highway.

Furthermore, the renewable energy is a sector with massive investments in projects, focusing on wind, solar, and geothermal energy provision.

The profession of project management in Chile is being represented by the CCDP Corporación Chilena de Dirección de Proyectos. CCDP was founded in 2011 and is member of the International Project Management Association. It gathers individual and corporate members and shares experiences through an annual conference as well as several focused workshops. The Young Crew of CCDP is very active and attracts young professionals from industry as well as major universities. The Chilean people are very proud of always finding a solution to any problem encountered. This may be caused by the geographical situation of the country and may also explain why the country is so successful during the last years.

Written by
Sandra Misic

Sandra currently works as Assistant to the IPMA President and Executive Director. Since joining IPMA in 2012, Sandra worked in FMCG sector for Procter&Gamble. She holds Master in Economics from Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb. After graduation she continued at the same University the doctoral programme in Business Economics. Her particular research interest is behavioral economics.

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