Chile - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2022-01-26

Selling to the Government

The U.S.-Chile FTA calls for open tendering, including the name of the supplier and the value of the contract. The FTA provisions cover all non-construction procurements by over twenty Chilean central government entities, as well as local government agencies. The agreement also calls for non-discriminatory “national treatment” for either country’s suppliers. Tender opportunities should be published at least thirty days in advance and technical specifications or requirements should be performance-based. The agreement further establishes an impartial authority to review any challenges filed against specific procurement awards. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks.

ChileCompra (http://www.chilecompra.cl/), the Government of Chile procurement website, was established in March 2000 to serve as the central source for all Chilean government procurement, including the armed forces. The site is administered by the ChileCompra Directorate to increase transparency, enhance opportunities, and reduce government procurement costs. In 2020, ChileCompra facilitated more than $12.4 billion in purhcases, a 7.8 percent increase from 2019.

To participate in public tenders, all companies, local and foreign, must register free of change on MercadoPublico 9(Mercado Público - La plataforma de compras públicas y oportunidades de negocio del Estado de Chile (mercadopublico.cl)). All bidders must post a bank and/or guarantee bond, usually equivalent to ten percent of the total bid, to ensure compliance with specifications and delivery dates. Bidding is best done through a local agent who is registered, well connected, and familiar with Chilean government bidding procedures.

Project Financing

Chile has a well-developed Financial Services sector, local banks have access to capital funds at competitive prices, therefore the activity of multilateral banks in the country resembles the one in more develop countries.

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales

Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks (PDF). The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

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