Believe it or not but right now could be the perfect time to expand your business to the Chilean market! We have been talking to our partner in Chile, Felipe Ernst at BETZ Legal Partners. He has a background as a Chilean diplomat with long experience living in Europe and visiting the Nordic/Baltic countries. Right now, he is helping companies with everything necessary regarding legal questions, cultural questions and business networking when expanding to Chile. With all his knowledge in the field, Felipe thinks this is the right time for Nordic and Baltic countries to enter the Chilean market.
– I was phoned by my friend from Tehnopol in Estonia a little over a year ago. She told me about 4SmartGrowth and asked if I would be willing to help by being the local expert for companies in various industries that have a wish to expand to Chile. Since I have been helping companies with this kind of questions for a long time, I instantly said yes. Now, after the projects first round, out of ten companies, I could find good matching partners in Chile for 7 of them. As we speak, I know that six of these companies are having conversations with potential customers. With that said I think it has been a very successful first round, says Felipe Ernst.
Working with 4SmartGrowth for the past year – what do you think about the project?
– I admire the capacity of the Nordic and Baltic areas in cooperating like this. We are all better together. I am a firm believer that this concept really can help bring the best companies from the north to our country and region, says Felipe Ernst.
Why should Scandinavian and Baltic companies expand to the Chilean market?
– We have seen a lot of examples where companies that succeed in Chile also succeed in, for example, Peru and Colombia. Therefore, our market is many times seen being as an entering gate to the Latin American market. Then we have the political point of view. A lot of Chilean people are coming out of poverty right now. We have a huge middle class. With this comes expectations of better public education better public health etc. I believe that Chilean people want a more Nordic social democratic view of the world and also wants to live in a society that follows that. The Nordic companies ave technological innovations that fit our market very well, says Felipe Ernst.
What are your thoughts on expanding during Covid-19?
– Well, travelling is still the most efficient way to build contacts. But for the time being, this modality seems to work. I am very optimistic and happy about the future. There are a lot of areas where northern European countries have developed fantastic innovations. Innovations which I am sure will succeed in Chile, says Felipe Ernst.
What should companies think about before entering the Chilean market?
– They should inform themselves to know differences in culture, history, and law, to name some areas. Some legal advice is necessary before going to the Chilean market. Then they should figure out the culture since the culture here is different. If someone comes here from a Nordic country and meets a Chilean, the Chilean will speak in terms of “my friend”. Because here we are a bit more relaxed to establish inter-personal relationships than in northern Europe. Also, here in Chile, it is ok to ask for help. Dare to do so! My recommendation is definitely to try to understand the culture and act according to it, says Felipe Ernst.
What do you want to say to companies that want to expand but waits because of the pandemic?
– They should use this time to explore, meet virtually with potential partners, customers, advisors, counsellors. Use this time to try to establish contacts and try to know and understand the new market. This time is a perfect opportunity to do so, says Felipe Ernst.