27 July 2009
Chile’s economy has strengthened over the last 20 years. Yet, to date Chilean regions have not fully utilised their assets and reached their growth potential thus limiting Chile’s capacity for growth. The OECD Territorial Review of Chile recommends for Chile a stronger regional approach to economic development in order to better exploit the different opportunities of regions and to improve the country’s overall performance.
Improving the productivity of the country requires targeting innovation and entrepreneurship and improving education and training. These areas have an important regional dimension in view of the diversity of Chilean territories. At the same time, diversifying the national economic structure requires regionally-driven strategies, capable of mobilising regional resources and taking advantage of regional conditions. Improving productivity and diversifying the national economy suggest the need for place-based policies that target efforts to improve the quality and diffusion of public investments and services to the regions.
Chile has progressively adopted an innovative regional perspective through initiatives such as the creation of regional development agencies and a regional innovation fund. Important reforms are also in course as the direct election of the regional council, or the municipal reform. However, Chile is still lacking a regional institutional framework capable of co-ordinating on a regular basis the different policies, instruments, and actors involved in economic development. The regional economic agenda is still largely decided from the centre. In addition, public investment mechanisms have a sectoral logic that hinders the financing of comprehensive and coordinated initiatives.
Moving towards place based policies in Chile requires a greater involvement of regional actors in planning and coordinating the regional development agenda. In this light, multi-level governance and co-ordination arrangements, and mechanisms such as capacity building and strengthened participation schemes, will help raise the legitimacy, coherence and effectiveness of the governance reform process in Chile.
National territorial reviews
The Territorial Review of Chile is integrated into a wider programme of national territorial reviews undertaken by the OECD Territorial Development Policy Committee. The overall aim of the territorial review series is to provide practical policy advice to national governments. The countries previously reviewed have been:
How to obtain this publication
Readers can access the full version of The Territorial Review of Chile by choosing from the following options:
For further information please contact Carlos.IcazaLara@oecd.org.
Read more on OECD work with Chile: www.oecd.org/chile.