Chile passed an Energy Efficiency Law. This law calls for companies to make a rational and efficient use of resources, which practically covers all energy consumption in the country: transportation, industry, mining, residential, public and commercial sectors. The Ministry of Energy will prepare a National Energy Efficiency Plan every five years. The first plan includes a goal to reduce energy intensity by at least 10% by 2030.
A total of 48,468 companies have applied for 366,487 workers for the employment subsidy programme. 30% of these workers applied for the "return to work" subsidy, and 70% for the "new hires" subsidy. The programme aims to encourage new hiring and to allow suspended workers to return to their jobs. The programme has a budget of $2 billion to benefit 1.3 million workers.
A new shipment of 88,725 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Chile from Belgium to continue with the immunization plan the government has put in place. This shipment is the third after another two that arrived in recent weeks with a cumulative 21,000 doses. The government plans to vaccinate 15 million people identified within the target population in the first half of 2021.
The 2020 annual air traffic balance prepared by the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) revealed that 9.4 million people travelled on domestic and international routes, 64% less than in 2019, and the lowest number of passengers since 2007.
General manager of CarSol Fruit SA, Álvaro Prieto, is expecting a positive blueberry season. The blueberry harvest in Ñuble began in December and will run through March. There are 4.023 hectares in the region, which represents 21.9% of the national total. According to Prieto, Asia is the market with the greatest growth potential for Chile.
Employees from the Enel Generacion Electricity Company went on strike to reject what they consider to be an inadequate proposal by the company. Mauricio Ramirez, president of the Enel Generacion Union, said that 96.7% of participants in the assembly decided to go on strike.
A total of 55,311 complaints filed with the Directorate of Labour (DT) for violations of labour regulations, was the balance left in 2020. In addition, between 1 January and 30 June 2020, the DT issued fines totalling CH$2.24 billion ($3.1 million) and between 1 July and 31 December of the same year, the figure was CH$2.57 billion ($3.6 million). Thus, during the year the fines issued by the agency amounted to $6.7 million.
Almost 10 months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile, only half of the hotels nationwide are operating normally. This was revealed in a report by Colliers International, which showed that nearly 50% of accommodation has preferred to remain closed or operate as a nursing home.
SQM (Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A.) reached a long-term agreement to supply lithium products to LG Energy Solution (LGES). As part of the agreement, which runs from 2021 to 2029, SQM will supply battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide for the production of high-quality cathode materials for EV battery cells. The contract considers a total of approximately 55,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.
The participation of women in senior positions in major companies in the country increased to 29% in 2020, according to the Gender Equity Index prepared by the non-profit organisation PROhumana. In the 2020 edition of the index, 12 major companies participated in the index, of which nine had also been in the 2019 version. In 2019, 21% of the total number of directors of the nine companies included that year were women, and in 2020 this percentage increased to 29% in those companies.