In March 1990, Chile ended General Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship and elected a government which rapidly set about liberalising its economy. The country has flourished ever since. GDP has grown by an average of 4% every year since 1999. In 2006, Chile became the country with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Latin America.
Much of that growth is the result of trade agreements with other countries. This culminated in May 2010 with the country’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the first South American country to join that select club.
In recent years the country has been somewhat insulated from global recession by the Government’s policy of accumulating budget surpluses during periods of economic growth. Despite the February 2010 earthquake, which was one of the ten strongest ever recorded and which, according to the Chilean Ministry of Finance, cost 17% of GDP, GDP grew more than 5% in 2010.
Yet, despite this economic growth, the Chilean PR industry is struggling to establish itself. Industry insiders explain that there are three obstacles to overcome: a lack of professional skills and experience among Chilean PR practitioners, a failure to embrace the digital revolution, and a reliance on export rather than internal consumer spending.