The presentation of Asturias as a versatile and competitive investment destination was one of the objectives of the visit that a delegation from the Principality of Asturias made the first week of July to Tarapacá, a region located in the far north of Chile.
The delegation was headed by the general directors of the Economic Development Institute of the Principality of Asturias (IDEPA), Eva Pando, and the Sociedad de Promoción Exterior Principado de Asturias, S.A. (Asturex), Teresa Vigón. This initiative is part of the International Urban Cooperation Programme of the European Union (IUC).
The visit led to the signing of a collaboration agreement with the Chilean region of Tarapacá, signed by the regional mayor, Miguel Ángel Quezada. The agenda of this trade mission to Chile sought to generate synergies and find common ground to promote the development and competitiveness of the industrial environment of Asturias, as well as attract new investment to the region.
Circular economy, Industry 4.0 and renewable energies
The meetings maintained with significant entities in the Chilean region served to detect lines of collaboration for Asturian companies in areas such as the circular economy, Industry 4.0 and renewable energies, mainly solar photovoltaic.
Regarding circular economy, our delegation was able to learn about the project for the implementation of a technology center at the national level, developed by the Center for Innovation and Economy Circular (CIEC), along with the Government of Tarapacá and the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO). Also interesting for Asturian companies could be the Tarapacá Hub, a center of entrepreneurship focused on circular innovation in mining, logistics and solar energy.
In the area of Industry 4.0, the important fishing industry of the country is implementing technologies related to artificial intelligence, opening potential lines of collaboration with Asturian companies included in the catalogue of key enabling technologies (KETs) that are part of the strategy Asturias Industry 4.0, led by the Government.
Another market niche for Asturian companies is that of renewable energies. In 2020, Tarapacá will have an energy mix in which renewable energies will play a leading role, generating more than 80% of electricity.
The region of Tarapacá has two key infrastructures, the Port of Iquique, and a free-trade zone, the Free-Trade Zone of Iquique, S.A. (ZOFRI S.A.), which represents a competitive advantage and makes it very attractive for international trade. The Port of Iquique has a privileged location, considered the natural door of the central cone of South America from and towards international markets. In addition to that, the Free-Trade Zone, is equipped with a platform of services to commercialize and facilitate business in the southern cone of Latin America, where more than two thousand companies develop their activities.
Promotion of sustainable urban development
The European Union’s International Urban Cooperation Programme aims to promote the exchange of good practices and more sustainable territories between different regions of the world. It is part of a long-term EU strategy to promote sustainable urban development in cooperation with the public and private sectors, as well as with community groups and citizens.
This initiative has a budget of more than €5 million and will run for three years. Twenty cities and regions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru have been selected under the programme for collaboration with their European counterparts.