World View: Focus on Chile


Government policies are being structured to develop a computer- and science-oriented market, for which training is needed.

Reprinted from “Training” 03/24/2011 by Dr. Neil Orkin

Chile has one of the most vibrant economies in the world. In fact, it may be the strongest economy in South America, and it is well positioned to continue its growth in the coming years. Chileans are a proud people. The rescue of the Chilean miners last year gave the world a positive look at the culture of this fascinating country.

The population of Chile is more than 17 million, and its capital is the city of Santiago. It is clear that the management of the economy in this country has been successful. Inflation has been controlled, government savings and investment plans have been prudent, and the country encourages global trade. Chile trades with dozens of countries worldwide.

Chile is the biggest exporter of copper in the world. Up to 30 percent of its revenues comes from this mineral. However, the government is interested in reducing its dependence on copper. More than 90 percent of the population is literate, and government policies are being structured to increase opportunities in other business areas, especially the development of a computer- and science-oriented market. For success in this area, higher-order skills are needed, which is where training comes in.

The typical training program in this country is one to three days; online training also has become popular. Solid, practical programs are in demand. There is a great interest in management development and leadership development for management. Corporate professionals are looking for communication skills improvement classes, business writing, and customer service workshops. Both groups want creative, problem-solving programs. Chileans are life long-learners, and appear to enjoy continuing their education.

The cost of training in Chile depends on the number of people registered. Typically, the investment is less than that in North America, and the return on investment is high.

Training Tips

  • Remember that Chileans can be quiet and at times formal. Learners are often reserved. Working together in groups usually is well received.
  • Be careful about your use of small talk. Steer away from talk of politics, crime, and religion. Do your best to listen actively.
  • Personal space is treated quite differently in Chile, with individuals standing much closer than in the U.S.
  • Because many of your participants may not speak English, you will need to regulate your language when talking to others. Speak slower, simplify your vocabulary, use visuals, and help those in need of assistance by using active listening.
  • Chileans like structure, so be as organized with your materials as possible.
  • Let them know when the test will be, and what to expect.

By following these tips, you can win in the new global economy. Chile will be on the world stage for many years. Understanding how to best meet Chile’s learning needs can help you succeed and prosper in the years ahead.

Dr. Neil Orkin is president of Global Training Systems. His organization prepares corporate professionals for global business success.