Chilean financial analysts raised their economic forecast from a 5.2% to a 5.3% growth in 2021, amidst the crisis causes by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Central Bank. Economists also projected a 3.5% increase in GDP for 2022, previously the estimate was 3.4%.
Chile has attracted interest from both established producers and smaller exploration companies to enter the country as it prepares to offer new licenses in a bid to grow output. The country has been losing market share as new frontiers open up ahead of an expected tripling of demand for the key ingredient in rechargeable batteries. SQM & Albemarle Corp. are expanding but authorities are also inviting new players to enter other areas, such as other salt flats.
Chile has restored quarantine restrictions in the Santiago metropolitan region because of rising COVID-19 cases in spite of an expeditious vaccination drive. The new restrictions will take place at 5am on 13th March and will be reviewed at the end of the month to determine if there will be an extension, according to the health ministry. Around 4.5 million residents have been vaccinated to date, representing 23% of the population.
President Piñera announced the delivery of a new middle class bond which will fluctuate between Ch$400,000 ($560.8) and Ch$600,000 ($841.2), depending on the size of the families that qualify. This is part of the measures to mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has had on the labor market and household incomes.
Chile's Not Company (NotCo), whose business is the production of plant-based foods, received approval to patent part of the applications of " Giuseppe" in the United States. The company's technology is based on artificial intelligence that allows it to imitate flavors of animal products.