Chile’s Finance Ministry Alberto Arenas, and the World Bank Group (WBG), represented by its Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, signed a cooperation agreement to establish in Chile the first Research and Development Center in Latin America, and the second outside Washington, DC.
The Global Economic Development Indicator Center is a pioneer initiative, which will start operating in the first quarter of 2015.
“This is very good news for Chile, it reaffirms that the international community recognizes the value of its institutional stability and its capacity to design and implement public policies,” said Arenas. He added that “the signing of this agreement is a milestone in the strengthening of joint activities with the World Bank. We are confident that we will continue to develop this joint project for the benefit of Chile as well as other members of this corporation.
The Center, with a regional and global focus, will carry out an ambitious research program, anchored in the World Bank’s databases.
“Chile is the WBG’s ideal partner for this initiative, as it has shown a tangible commitment with sharing its experience and knowledge of economic development. It will now be able to contribute more actively to the development of other member countries of the WBG,” said Familiar.
The main studies and areas of work to be performed by the Research Center include:
Doing Business: The study’s regional management and data collection at Latin American country level, including Chile, will be performed from Santiago. This is an objective measurement of the guidelines regulating business activity and ease of doing business in 189 economies around the world.
Chile’s Sub-National Doing Business: This study will conduct an in-depth analysis of the business environment in each region of Chile. The study is conducted at the request of interested parties and this is the first time it will be performed for Chile. It has already been conducted in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Italy and Indonesia.
Women, Business and the Law: A report analyzing the barriers faced by women when undertaking entrepreneurial and business activities. In the case of Chile, the Santiago Study Center will analyze differences between the formal regulatory framework and its enforcement in practice, identifying existing gaps.
Comparative Global Agricultural Business Environment Evaluation: this is a new World Bank study that seeks to apply the Doing Business methodology to specific sectors. It is expected that the Santiago Research Center will be able to actively contribute to the definition of this new study, as well as to apply it to maximize Chile’s agricultural sector.
Enterprise Surveys: It will collect data for this company survey, the most complete of its type in the world, including data from more than 130,000 companies in 135 countries.
Once the Memorandum of Understanding is signed, work will continue in the final months of this year on the preparation and approval of the remaining documents needed to establish the Chilean Center, such as the Establishment Agreement and the Additional Agreement to Support Center Operations.