- Articles by Expatriate Employees - World Report

Santiago / Chile

A country rich in nature and resources on the other side of the earth

Akiko Yogo / Marubeni Chile LTDA.

Some 24 hours away from Tokyo by connecting flights, Chile is a distant country, literally on the other side of the earth. The long and narrow territory runs 4,329 kilometers north and south and some 170 kilometers east and west, with the desolate Atacama Desert in the north, fjords, glacial lakes, and pampas (grasslands) spread across the south, and abundant nature between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountain Range east and west. The Strait of Magellan connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans some 2,400 kilometers to the south of the capital, Santiago. The population of 17.27 million comprises about 75% Hispanic, 20% other European, and 5% percent indigenous descents.

Development of mining for minerals such as saltpeter was launched as an economic policy after gaining independence. Companies expanded into the Atacama Desert when a vein of ore was discovered there, and after obtaining mining rights, development is underway. Today, this is a world-renowned production center that is rich in mineral resources such as copper and lithium as well as saltpeter, where many international major resource companies are developing resources. The annual amount of copper production comprises more than 30% of the global supply.

Near the Bolivian border there is a town called San Pedro de Atacama that is said to be the oldest town in the country. Tourists gather to visit the Atacama Salt Lake—which is the second largest salt lake in the world—and the Tatio Geysers, with steam rising up from them.

The Patagonia region is centered on large-scale fjords and glacial lakes, and you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of precipitous mountains carved by glaciers in Paine National Park. Some 3,700 kilometers west of the mainland on the east edge of the Polynesian Triangle lie the Easter Islands, where over a thousand Moai statues have been discovered. Registered as a World Heritage Site, this is a world famous tourist attraction.

I believe that recent events are fresh in our memory, such as the major earthquake, attainment of full membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the rescue of all workers who were trapped in the copper mine cave-in accident, and the like. The climate for investment is stable, on the other hand, and investment from Japan is increasing as well—reaching the level of the number one investing country in Chile for the first time in 2011. The number of Marubeni employees on assignment in Chile has also increased to 25.

Because it is no simple thing to visit Chile, which is so distant, I will describe the Chile that is familiar to you all. You can find Chilean salmon, sea urchin, wine, and other products in Japanese supermarkets. For example, please be sure to try Chilean salmon Carpaccio paired with chilled white wine.

Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.72 (November, 2012)


  • A statue of Magellan, the first European to visit Chile, in the center of town.
  • The Licancabur active volcano (5,916 meters), located on the border of the Valley of the Moon and the Bolivian border.
  • The "the Horn of Paine" in the Paine National Park (2,600 meters)
  • The Ahu Tongariki, which comprises 15 moais, and which was rebuilt using a crane made by a leading Japanese company.

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