Moderator: Delia Valdivia
August 4, 2010
10:44 am CT
Coordinator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time participants are in a listen-only mode. During the question and answer session, you may press star 1 on your touchtone phone. If you'd like to ask a question by typing in a question, you may type the questions through the net portion.
Today's conference is recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I will now turn the meeting over to Delia Valdivia. You may begin.
Delia Valdivia: Hi everyone. Thank you (Marsha). Good morning and afternoon. My name is Delia Valdivia and I'm and International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service and a team member of the Global Design and Construction team. Thank you everyone for participating in today's Webinar on the Chilean reconstruction opportunities.
We are very excited to be able to provide this Webinar for you. We are fortunate to have excellent speakers that have generously offered to share their knowledge and expertise on the Chilean market and the opportunities available for U.S. companies.
Before launching into the Webinar context, I would like to take a few minutes to mention the Commercial Service, the Global Design and Construction Team and introduce our speakers on the call.
The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. We are located in over 100 U.S. cities and in 80 countries. We work with small and medium size companies in assisting them in increasing their sales in the international market.
We are here to assist you in every stage of the export process. And here are just a couple of the different things that we do, global networking, market intelligence, trade counseling, business matchmaking and trade advocacy.
Within the Department of Commerce the U.S. Commercial Service we have the global design and construction team, which is a group of industry focused staff that serve and support the U.S. design and construction industry with its international business development. Our mission is to increase the number of U.S. companies selling their products and services overseas.
Team members and staff are located worldwide. Some of the services that the team and our staff provide are basically developing an international marketing strategy, obtaining market and industry research, identifying partners and reps for you to work with in international market, one to one counseling on international markets and the opportunity they hold. And if you need something to be customized, we can do that as well.
Please take a time to visit our team Web site at www.export.gov\industry\architecture\index.asp or the one on construction, which is just below.
And now for our speakers. We will have discussing opportunities on the (earthquick) reconstruction update we will have Matthew Hilgendorf and Marcello Orellana.
Matthew Hilgendorf is a Commercial Officer with the U.S. Commercial Service. He's assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile and his tour of duty will end in 2014. Previously Matthew was assigned as a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City where his primary sectors were energy, environment, general consumer goods and travel and tourism.
From 2000 to 2008 Matthew worked as an International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In this position he provided export counseling and support to companies located primarily in the city of Albuquerque and the border region of Southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.
Prior to working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Matthew worked with the state of New Mexico trade division of the America's Trade Specialists. From 1994 to 1997 Matthew lived in Santiago, Chile where he worked in the Free Trade Agreement Office of the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile and the Chilean export promotion agency known as (Pro) Chile.
Matthew is a native of New Mexico and is a graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C. and the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy.
Joining him discussing (earthquick) construction update will be Marcello Orellana. Marcello Orellana served as a Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Chile. He joined the U.S. Commercial Service in January 2000. His primary industry sectors are mining, energy and construction.
In addition, he coordinates the U.S. export, import bank trade financing programs as well as the overseas private investment corporation projects finance program. Prior to his joining the U.S. Commercial Services Santiago, Chile, he worked in the private sector for Chilean as well as U.S. companies.
We also have the opportunity from (Carolina Candia). (Carolina Candia) is a corporate and commercial lawyer. Miss (Candia) graduated from the University of Chile in 2000. She specialized in the concession of public works and projects and government procurement. She currently works for (Acalde Aciella) law firm. The U.S. Export-Import Bank is one of their many international clients.
And finally we'll have an overview of rebuild Chile internationally from Peter McKenna from Coleman Worldwide. Peter McKenna has been planning and implementing the goal events for over 25 years. He was born in Minnesota. He has lived and worked throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. He began his (exhibition) career organizing U.S. national pavilions at trade shows in Thailand, Japan and the UE.
Over the years he added trade events in China, India, Russia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines, Austria, Poland, Kuwait, Jordan and many other countries. These events have covered a variety of industrial sectors ranging from aerospace and telecommunications equipment to agricultural commodities, building materials, automotive equipment and medical supplies.
He's managed a number of projects for the U.S. Department of Commerce data, (state) agriculture and defense as well as other state and regional government private sector organizations. He has also worked with the White House office in scheduling and advance assisting the team who plans and implements the President's foreign and domestic events.
Mr. McKenna received a BA Degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and his Masters Degree in the international relations from the London school of economics. With that, we will start our program with Matthew and Marcello.
Matthew Hilgendorf: Thank you Delia. Good morning and good afternoon everybody. This is Matthew Hilgendorf, Commercial Officer with the Commercial Service stationed here at the Embassy in Santiago. I have with me today Commercial Specialist Marcello Orellana and we're going to take the next 15 minutes to describe what has happened here and what is happening in terms of rebuild and how we can support you.
Also by the way, for those of you who have been to U.S. Commerce offices outside the U.S. we're the commercial section in the embassy and our jobs is to help U.S. exporters of products or services to sell outside the U.S. and we're here to serve you. Next slide please.
Overview. Very quickly we're going to cover these five items just so that you see what we're going to talk about epicenter, demographic information, damages, Chilean Government actions and response, private sector involvement and opportunities. Next slide please.
As many of you know, Chile is one of the most interesting countries in the world in terms of its geography. It is extremely long and thin, just 100 miles on average, diverse climates and geography. Right now we've got a full on winter with snow in the mountains and below freezing temperatures in the morning. The opposite season for the U.S. as most of you know.
Seventeen million population makes it a relatively small country but it is a country with a high level of development and a high amount of consumer buying power.
I mean the point is here that this earthquake hit the center of the country where the population is concentrated. We estimate about 75% of the population was affected. Closest to the epicenter is the city Concepcion, a large seaport in the heart of wood and paper industry. Population of the greater Concepcion area is about two million people. Coal, steel and petro chemical industries are also present there.
A note on Chile. Chile has always been reconstructing. It's a country that suffers and earthquake of this size about every 25 years. And in between there are less severe ones that cause significant damage too. So it may be incredible but they're still reconstructing from the previous one.
I just read yesterday a hospital in (Sopapilla), a city North of Santiago, is about to inaugurate its newest hospital; one that was severely damaged in a 2008 earthquake that most of us didn't even remember. This is a country used to reconstructing and it's a way of life. Next slide please.
Damages and costs. These are dramatic photos; these are not invented; these are real photos. The total cost of the damage and lost production is estimated at $30 billion, which is about 17% of GDP. So a huge economic hit. But however, Chile's going to get a huge economic injection in terms of government spending and the tension on reconstructing. So we expect that despite the hit to the GDP, things will be just fine economically.
They talk about in terms of infrastructure as many of 221 bridges were damaged or destroyed, highways almost 1000 miles and a lot of infrastructure in the area of Concepcion both in terms of the ports and then the canal are also going to need repair.
Schools, as many as 3000; the number of students over a million and hospitals 60 damaged and 15 destroyed completely. Homes, the estimate is about 370,000 homes either damaged or destroyed. Again, not all these were damaged; some were just destroyed and some (exactly).
The Chilean - next one thank you. The Chilean Government response. Emergency care was provided and was successful and Chile thanks to the international community has recovered very well. With the winter coming on that is back in May there was a need to really put roofs over peoples heads and make sure that they were safe and, you know, all their basic needs taking care of and this was accomplished quite well.
In fact it's kind of a fun bit of trivia but the first World Cup game, soccer World Cup game that Chile played, the idea was that everybody would be under a roof and somewhat comfortable in order to see that game because it was such a big deal and they accomplished it.
It's worth noting that a special exception to Chile's procurement or concession procedure has expired. There was a time in the very beginning when in order to get the relief out quickly, Chile officials and others could make purchases quickly and without going through the normal sort of fairly complicated and involved rules.
And that's now been - given that things that have been accomplished, they are no longer requiring - they're now going to go back to their system, which is a well designed system and that we'll talk about in terms of concessions and procuring. And construction is supposed to last about four years unless there's another earthquake to create yet another reconstruction plan. Next one please.
So this is our best and we put a lot of effort into this. We've had several people working on this year to date around the table. And we've been working hard on this to understand where the opportunities are for you the companies because it seems to me with this call the main question you want to ask - have answered is whether there's an opportunity for you in Chile and how tell you should proceed.
And the truth is that a lot of the infrastructure has been taken care of, immediate needs were taken care of, couple of bridges that were totally destroyed have been put up in a temporary way. And many others that were just damaged have been at least rehabilitated such that they are safe to use at least for now and now they're taking inventory on what exactly they're going to do.
We've noted you see here five projects that are under way that will be, you know, bid. They're asking for bids, they're asking for companies to bid on these. And these don't necessarily have to do with the reconstruction but I wanted to put them up here because they illustrate that Chile is continuing on with a general infrastructure investment plan.
And something else I want you to take away from this presentation is Chile is not putting on hold anything else that it had planned. I mean the reconstruction from the earthquake is an issue but it doesn't change their overall plan and we understand that plan well and I've just listed the first five projects. Every year there are about another five projects of similar value of different kinds that we're going to be tracking so make sure that you stay in contact with us so that we can help you get into those projects.
Housing is ongoing. We estimate that there are - well, just recently 253,000 families applied for government funds to either repair or completely rebuild their house. About half of them lost their house completely and the other half had them severely - their houses severely damaged. So that's 253,000 families, that's 253,000 homes that are going to need to be built.
The price that they'll get in terms of subsidy from the government is not huge and it will not create - build houses of the kind that we might be used to in the U.S. These are going to be maybe only 15,000, $20,000 housing subsidies. So as you think of selling into Chile think of building materials that are cost effective and easy to manage and that could fit into a very much of a lower price range.
Hospitals. Hospitals and schools I've read now have been - they're going to be rebuilt to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and which is a high standard that probably anyone has attempted in the world. Keep in mind that as we look at that.
The government has announced plans to construct 12 hospitals but we're putting on here a holding pattern because we don't see that the tendering process has begun yet. But again, this is the kind of thing that we track and if you have any interest in that particular type of construction, we'll help you stay in contact with us on that. Next slide please.
Private sector involvement. Rebuild Chile 2010 - June 2010 trade show was a success. We were involved and I'll let Peter talk more about that and the upcoming show. Our office is in contact with private firms like those on this phone - on this call and others determining needs and looking for ways for you to get into the business here via contracts or selling products or service.
Another thing on this slide, some of the companies that we know that will be involved - that are involved in construction and engineering in this country and it will continue to be. And I put them up there because these are the kinds of companies we can help you make contacts with. And we want to emphasize that in a country like Chile it's extremely important to make, you know, partnerships or go into partnerships with a local firm. It will make everything easier and we'll talk a little bit more about that. And our next slide please.
So opportunities for U.S. companies. I don't need to tell you this. I'm going to put it up only because I wouldn't want to leave anybody out. But there are companies that could be subcontractors, there are those who could be suppliers and there even those that could possibly win contracts directly from the government.
But essentially Chile needs, and I'm going to say need although it's clear that Chile is a very self-sufficient country. And Chile when it comes to earthquake they've rebuilt so many times that they don't - they've had to go it alone a lot of the time and they will continue too. And so what is needed?
Everything is needed. I didn't put everything. I can't list it all. I wanted to focus on four here that we think are particularly good opportunities but it's by no means all that there is. Please don't consider this the end - the final list.
But I will note that energy efficiency technology is important, gas, oil. Sorry, power prices is a very high in Chile and anything that can use renewable energy or that will simply create energy savings in new construction I think should be very, very attractive to Chileans today.
Machinery and equipment of all kinds, earth moving so on especially building materials. Chile is a wood producer so, you know, when it comes to wood, Chile is, you know, quite strong but there maybe a lot of other types of materials that U.S. companies can provide that would bring, you know, sort of an added value to their construction.
There are success stories. In interest of time, I will skip over the discussion of one but our job in this office is to create success. We don't get much credit for just running Webinars. We actually want you to make sales. And when you make a sale, we know we've had success. So we - I'm less concerned with success stories that have been and more concerned with ones that we can create for you going forward. Next slide please.
So opportunities for U.S. companies. I'm not going to get into details here. We're going to talk - if our lawyers are on the line the ones who signed up for this conference and they will talk about this. Otherwise I will have Marcello Orellana talk.
But, you know, with any foreign markets there can several channels that you can use. You can go into partnership. You can go it alone. You can only sell product or service and you can choose to open an office, not open an office. We know all the variations and there's so many different kinds of companies on the line today it would be crazy to try to, you know, talk about any one of those. But we should know that we know there are different ways and our job is to help you find the channel.
We're going to talk a little bit about the Chile (compress) site, which is an online procurement site and Chile is transparent. The country has got clear rules and it's highly competitive which is the downside but it's highly transparent which is the upside of that.
And again, I'd like to leave you with a note that we encourage you strongly to partner with people and that's exactly where we come in is we help you find the appropriate partner. One that compliments what you can do and will give you, you know, an inside track into doing business. So next slide is the last slide.
I want to thank everybody for being on the call. I tried to cover as much as I could in the short amount of time in the interest of hopefully leaving plenty of times for questions and answers where most of, you know, sort of the good exchange can occur. At this point I'd like to find out of the lawyer (Carolina) is on the line. If not, then I would like Marcello to quickly cover her few slides that we have coming up next. Thank you everybody.
Coordinator: (Carolina), your line is open.
(Carolina Gonya): Thank you. And well, it's time for me to talk about - well, first of all I would - I'd like to introduce myself. I'm (Carolina Gonya). I'm a corporate lawyer that works for a local firm with plenty of experience in telecom process and the concession of (private works). And today I'm here to make an introduction - a briefly introduction of the concept before mentioned related with two different procedures to make this (unintelligible).
One of them is telecom for process. This procedure is used to sell to the government. And it is secured through a transactional platform called (telecompra). That is the place where the government publishes its needs for goods and services. And the only way to access to this platform is through a (geester) with (telecompra) and (unintelligible) where you have to confirm legal entity stages and the most straight your financial situation and technical (unintelligible).
To operate through the platform, it's not a simple procedure and requires local assistance. But the scope - to be more specific, the scope of these procedures extends to all contracts subscribed by the government for the supply of all the goods and services it requires for expansion and applies to national and foreign companies.
According to the procurement procedure that's established by law and are the following. Public meeting, private tender, direct contract and framework contract. The second - next please. Okay.
Regarding to the concession program, this is the second concept and is related to the construction, maintenance and operation of public infrastructure in field such as airports, bridges, prisons, roads and hospitals. This system is based on the indirect provision of public goods and services through private sector involvement.
Management is delivered to the private (unintelligible) the financial risk in exchange for the right to charge a user fee. These contracts are (BOT) or (DBOT) and both systems involve the private sector participation in the design, construction and operation of public works so that once the concession period ends or expires, the contractor that delivered the work is in the best position to re-tender.
In relations with the scope, the concession law applies as the slide shows to all public works and that means bridges what I have already tell and domestic and foreign firms or companies that maybe both can be Chilean or foreign as well.
Finally, I will say that work procedure is made through competitive bidding, national or international. That's the end.
Delia Valdivia: Thank you (Carolina). Now Peter, we can have you.
Peter McKenna Okay. Hi. Can you - am I live now?
Delia Valdivia: You're live.
Peter McKenna Okay. Thank you all for the opportunity to talk to you about the Expo Rebuild Chile that's taking place in Concepcion in October. I thought what - if you could advance the slide please.
What I thought I would talk about today just briefly give you a little bit of background about our company, Coleman Worldwide and zero in a little bit on the specific experience that we have had in Chile over the years, give you a summary of what happened at our first edition of the Rebuild Chile Expo that we held in Santiago in June and then talk a bit about what we're planning to do now for the second edition of the show that'll be taking place in October. And then I'm certainly here to answer any questions and - or concerns that you might have. Next slide please.
Coleman Worldwide was founded in 1963 as a company specifically involved in bringing U.S. groups of companies into trade shows all over the world. We've worked on nearly 750 different shows literally on every continent and worked directly with 10,000 individual companies during the course of those years, many of which have been new to market. Next slide please.
Now in terms of Chile, we first got involved in that market in 1994 organizing the U.S. group at an aerospace event called (FEDI) which takes place every two years. We then got involved in a mining show called Expomin, a naval show called Exponaval and most recently an event that was just a showcase of U.S. products called Trade One and the U.S. was the featured country there. Next slide please.
But it was as we were getting ready for (FEDI) 2010 that just less than a month before that show opened that the terrible earthquake and tsunami of February 27 hit and, you know, our first concerns of course were with the staff and friends that we have in Chile. But after that we wondered whether the show would continue on in Santiago or not.
And a lot of meeting were held, a lot of decisions made where the Chilean Government decided that despite the massive problems that they were suffering that they also wanted to send a signal that Chile remained open for business and was capable of dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake.
And so barely three weeks after that catastrophe, they hosted a large group of international companies at the (FEDI) show of which the United States was the largest country participating. Next slide please.
And it was during that show that our President (Tom Coleman) met with the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera who had just been - or sworn into office literally the week before that event. And the President was very, very pleased with the support that he was seeing from the U.S. companies that participated at (FEDI).
And during the conversation with (Tom) there, they began to lay the seeds for having a U.S. solo show where U.S. companies that are involved in any of the products and services that Chile would need for the reconstruction effort would come to Chile and showcase those products.
And that was followed by a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke in Washington with (Tom) and the President and a number of business leaders. And the idea and the format of the show in June was launched. Next slide please.
That show - I must say the very, very highly supported by the embassy in Santiago led by then Ambassador Simons who has subsequently moved on. But the Ambassador and the full commercial service staff there and all of their colleagues really rolled up their sleeves and put a lot of effort into the show making certain that not only the right U.S. companies were informed about it but also that the right Chilean visitors came.
And in these photos you're seeing that we had the Minister of Foreign Affairs actually open the show but we also had the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Environmental Affairs all came through and toured the event. But crucially important were the people that you're seeing in that bottom left picture, the intendentes from the three regions that were most severely impacted by the earthquake.
And Chile is divided into regions and three of them in particular were really heavily impacted and we got all of the regional governors from those sections of the country to come and meet with not only each other but also with the national government authorities. Next slide please.
And here is just some depictions of what the hall looked like, some of the meetings going on. And it was really a well-rounded presentation in that we had, you know, exhibitors had booths where they could actually show product. We had social events. We had educational events. This photo is showing the briefing for U.S. exhibitors that Mitch Larsen at the Embassy put on.
And I might add at this point too that the patron sponsor of that event was a company out of the United States called AECOM who had been very heavily involved in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina. And they were supported by another company, (Jenner) and Dupont. But in addition there were 65 separate companies exhibiting at that show. Next slide please.
Now back to the three regions and the presentations that were given during the first show. All three of the regional governors got up and spoke about their regions and about their plans and about what it is that they are anticipating needing as the reconstruction effort continues. And again, the three regions are six, seven and eight. Next slide please.
And in particular those regions as you can see from these photos were very heavily damaged both in terms of housing, in terms of factories, hospitals, schools, utilities and roadways and they briefed us all at that point about, you know, how badly things were impacted. Next slide. Next slide please. Oh there we are.
Delia Valdivia: Sorry. I'm having technical difficulties.
Peter McKenna Okay. There you go. But what they also assured us that at that time already by June about three months after the actual earthquake and tsunami they have pretty much stabilized the situation to where they had provided temporary housing for the some 800,000 people who were without homes.
They had provided temporary schools for the students to go back to. They had stabilized the medical emergencies so that everybody that needed healthcare was getting it. And really the clock that they were racing against was the onset of winter, which in the Southern hemisphere comes June, July and August.
And they wanted to make sure everything was okay for people's basic needs during those months. And they are - they were even by June pretty stable in that regard. But not it's time to look at the long-term reconstruction needs. Next slide please.
And that's where the leader of Region 8, which if you remember from my facts and figures there is by far the largest of the regions and is in terms of population and economic wherewithal the capital city of that region is Concepcion. And their intendente, a woman named Jacqueline van Rysselberghe spoke at our conference.
But during that presentation, she said, "You know, it's great that you're here in Santiago talking to the national government but we would also equally like you to come down to our region where the actual damage took place." And the fact of the matter is you don't see a lot of visible damage in Santiago. But when you get down to (Rencala) and (Poka) and Concepcion, you see a lot of damage.
And she was saying, "You know, come on down and actually see where we need your support and your products and your ideas." But for the first time too, she zeroed in on the idea that, you know, this tragedy has happened but don't feel bad about trying to make an opportunity out of it because she certainly is looking at that that way. And could I have the next slide please?
This is an aerial shot of one of the coastal regions of her region prior to the earthquake and tsunami. Next shot please or next screen. And this is the same exact visual of that area. You can see the type of destruction and damage that was caused.
And you can look at that as just saying, "My God, what are we going to do about all of this. It's horrible." Or you can say, "Well you know what, now that that exists as it is now, what can we do to make it better? What can we rebuild in that same space that is far better than what we lost? And could I have the next slide please?
Here is an example. Again, a specific beachfront area where a lot of fishermen had their homes and their businesses prior to the 27th of February. And next slide please.
This is an idea of what that area could look like given, you know, the right imagination and the right amount of commitment. And certainly the government is on this. They're saying we will support it financially. We'll support whatever laws need to be changed in order to make the zoning things happen. But we do need ideas. We need materials and we need, you know, basically expertise from outside of the region. Next slide please.
And so hence the idea again was born right then and there of having the event but this time having a little bit longer lead time so that more of you could decide to actually be part of it. But also to hold it right where the need is greatest in Concepcion. Next slide.
Here's showing a couple of the letters of support that we've received from the regional authorities in two. We actually have all three regions very much lining up behind this and promising that not only will they attend but they will invite national government figures to come down from Santiago.
They will invite their local trade association representatives, local construction companies, investors, et cetera. And I actually have a slide coming showing the type of visitors that we are anticipating coming to the show in Concepcion. Next slide please.
And by the way, all of this is available on our Web site. So I just wanted to assure you that if you don't have a chance to get it here, you'll see it there. The visitors that we're looking for will be regional construction industry people. And specifically we did include hospital administrators and educational institutions because that is a big part of the economy in Concepcion.
They have a number of universities and also one of the largest hospitals in Latin America. So we - and the timing of this comes at a time when they're going to be making a lot of long term decisions about how they're going to rebuild both the medical facilities and the educational institutions.
We'll be looking for all sorts of public sector leaders both from Chile and those from the - or from Santiago and from the region to come and specifically those in planning departments and different architectural and construction agencies like public works and housing.
We're also though looking, and I know that Matthew mentioned the idea of entering into joint ventures with Chilean companies to win some of the bigger contracts with the Federal Government and we will be encouraging people that already have contracts for the reconstruction to come to the event so that they can then look for sub suppliers.
We're also looking for international investors who may be interested in all sorts of opportunities that are available for things like building shopping malls or hotels or different tourist attractions, factories, et cetera. And again, from the government point of view they're offering a lot of incentives to companies to do that.
In terms of exhibitors, basically it's all of those types of companies who offer either a product or a service that can be used for the long-term reconstruction of the country. And again echoing something that Matthew mentioned, a huge priority for Chile is anything to do with environmental sustainability and sort of overall green issues.
And that comes both from an understanding that that is the wave of the future but also that Chile doesn't have a lot of oil and gas resources. It's strong in other minerals and agriculture. But to the extent that it doesn't have to import energy and can be using its wind power or solar power, et cetera, that's what they're aiming to do. Next slide please.
Delia Valdivia: And Peter, we're going to need to wrap it up in the next slide.
Peter McKenna Right. Okay. And we will. This is a floor plan showing that the Sur Activo Exhibition Center in Concepcion did not have any damage by the earthquake, ready to receive U.S. and exhibitors from throughout the world. Next slide.
Basically the component elements are a trade show, a conference that will be taking place side by side with it. We'll be conducting VIP tours. We'll offer companies the opportunity to do presentations of their own. There'll be a load of media coverage, social events, site visits around the Concepcion region.
And lastly, we produce a book called the Source Book which will list everybody in and it will have their contact details for people in Chile that want to buy from them. And I think this is the last slide coming now.
Yeah. So thank you very much for your time and I'll remain on the line here to answer any questions. I would also like to just drop one other name here. My colleague (Krista March) is the one that's actually running the U.S. pavilion and sort of a day-to-day point of contact for that. And I'll have her contact the individual companies to introduce herself and answer any further question that they might have as well.
Also in the room with me is our colleague from our office in Santiago, (Rodrigo Bastidas). And he too is happy to answer any questions anybody might have. Thank you.
Delia Valdivia: Thank you Peter. Thank you. Thank you to all of our other speakers, Matthew, Marcello and (Carolina) for their presentations. And now that we've received all this information on the U.S. Commercial Service and how we can proceed in getting some bids, your next step would be to contact your local trade specialist.
If you're not currently working with a commercial service, you can go on to our Web site at export.gov and click on the contact us link and you would enter your information and then they will tell you who you will need to contact. And give them a call and they're ready to help you.
And with that, we're going to open it to questions and answers, the Q&A section of this Webinar.
Coordinator: Thank you. At this time we will begin a question and answer session. To ask a question, please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. Please un-mute the line and record your first and last name when prompted. To withdraw the question, please press star 2. Once again, please press star 1 for any questions. One moment please.
Once again, you may press star 1 for a question. One moment please. Questions are populating just now. One moment.
Ms. Danielle Milam, your line is open from Franklin International.
Danielle Milam: Thank you. I have two questions. Is it possible - we are not new to exports. However, we are new with this particular product line in Chile. Is it possible to go direct and talk with the U.S. Commercial Service in Santiago or do we have to work through a - through our local office here?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Thanks for the question. This is Matthew in Santiago. You can work - you can work directly with us. We always keep informed our local offices simply so that they can help and support when possible or when needed. But when it comes to specific information about Chile and its market, we are the experts. So come to us directly.
Danielle Milam: Can I ask another question?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Sure.
Danielle Milam: Is it possible because I travel to Chile regularly to meet if I schedule that with your or one of your colleagues in advance?
Delia Valdivia: That's definitely possible. This is Delia. But the best thing to do would be to contact the local office just so you have no problem in case - if an email doesn't funnel through or something happens. It's best if you inform the local - your local office to make sure that you have a secure appointment with either Matthew or Marcello.
Danielle Milam: Okay. And this is my final question. Is it possible to - we make construction adhesives or mastics for the building industry, sealants and things of that sort. Is it possible to either purchase or acquire through the Commercial Service in Chile market reports on the types of building constructions and materials because we know that concrete is used heavily in Chile.
And I don't now if in the reconstruction they may be considering more U.S. style of how thing - you know, using what we would call the wood frame structure and plywood and OSB. And we're trying to get a handle on the materials and substrates and building styles being used to identify the most appropriate adhesives. Is that the type of information we could acquire?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Matthew again here. Certainly. We can - whatever we have to do - if it's not off the shelf and something that specific probably wouldn't be off the shelf, therefore we would conduct a research - we'd do our own research and create a report for you. And with that you could - you'd have the answers to your questions.
Danielle Milam: Okay.
Delia Valdivia: It would be a customized market research for you.
Danielle Milam: Okay.
Delia Valdivia: (Unintelligible) question.
Danielle Milam: All right. Very good. Thank you.
Coordinator: Mr. Chip Setzer, Tumac Lumber. Your line is open.
Chip Setzer: Okay. I just have one question and it pertains to building materials. We're an export lumber company. We actually import lots of products from Chile here to the United States and other countries in the world. I'm intrigued to know as far as North American softwoods go and hardwood, is there truly an open opportunity because there's some significantly large companies in Chile and imagine are probably very interested in having that business all to themselves.
And if so, is there any way to get like a list of companies that would be interested in North American species?
Marcello Orellana: This is Marcello. Well, since you're aware of the country, you already know that LP's here and there's some also local lumber and veneer companies. And you're right. It's very hard to compete with (unintelligible) and the eucalyptus prices in general.
And so - but unless there's a specific niche product, you know, where you can work with the, you know, the, you know, Ponderosa Pine or the Yellow Pine, you know, or any other American species, there may be a possibility.
But you're right. I mean the - as an FYI, the number of houses that are being built nowadays and the proposals for the houses which are roughly 46 to 50 square meters are primarily based on OSB and other types of wood panel, veneer panels.
And you may be aware of these things but they are, you know, essentially radiata and/or eucalyptus based panels. So again, unless there is an energy efficiency angle to using U.S. made, you know, wood products, it will be - it will be quite of a challenge to compete with these very cheap sources of wood and wood related products.
Chip Setzer: That was sort of my impression of it to be honest. I just, you know, through my local U.S. export assistant program, you know, they thought it might be of interest. There might be a potential there. But I, you know, that was sort of my assumption. And, you know, there's nothing wrong with that. I understand that and I respect that, so.
Marcello Orellana: Sure.
Chip Setzer: It was worth exploring.
Delia Valdivia: I have a question from one of the participants. The question is is the Chilean Government extending any relief of importation duties on building materials and productions to be used for reconstruction?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Sorry, you said are they reducing import duties.
Delia Valdivia: Yeah. Are they - is there any import duty relief or reduction on building materials?
Matthew Hilgendorf: You know, anything from U.S. is going to come in under the free trade agreement in which tariffs on this sort of thing are already at zero. So there's no reduction needed. Now other countries of course we're not concerned with Chile purchasing of things that are not U.S. but there they might run into a duty but not with U.S. made - not the things that qualify under the treaty as U.S. originated.
Delia Valdivia: Okay. Thank you.
Matthew Hilgendorf: Yeah.
Coordinator: I have four more questions on the audio portion so far. Tyrone Burks, Vision Worldwide Trading. Your line is open.
Tyrone Burks: Yes. My question is - I'm Mr. Burks from Vision Worldwide Trading. And I would like - how can my company do business with you guys because I am what you call an exporter, a liaison person. And I put buyers together. So how would that work with me?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Well here - Matthew here again. We're happy to work with anybody - yes, this is Matthew here. We're happy to work with anybody who is supporting U.S. exports. And if your clients are exporters, we're happy to support you in supporting them...
Tyrone Burks: Okay.
Matthew Hilgendorf: ...in general terms. Yeah.
Tyrone Burks: Okay.
Matthew Hilgendorf: Now...
Tyrone Burks: All right.
Matthew Hilgendorf: ...as long - you know, the trick is you or anyone in your business seems to understand your client very well. When we run into trouble it's with consultants or traders or others who really don't know the product that well. And then when we ask questions and try to get through the opportunities that might exist, if you don't know the answers, well then, you know, we're kind of - we don't know where to go from there.
But assuming you represent them well and know their products and their businesses, then there's no reason why you can't talk directly to us and then support your clients that way.
Coordinator: Would you like to take the next question? (Kermali Jaleah) of APS Group International. Your line is open.
(Kermali Jaleah): Oh thank you. I have a question is we are in global company and we export a lot of material such as heavy equipment and metals for the commercial warehousing and commercial (molds) and stuff.
How do I get information to that and we are, like I said, we do export cranes and heavy constructions equipment for the cement mixer machines and so forth. Have not done business with Chile but I have done business with other Latin American countries. So how do I get access to that and what are the procedures.
Delia Valdivia: This is Delia. First what I would recommend is that you go on to our Web site, export.gov.
(Kermali Jaleah): Okay.
Delia Valdivia: And if you're not working currently with somebody in the Commercial Service, try to contact your local trade specialist.
(Kermali Jaleah): Oh okay.
Delia Valdivia: Then we'll connect you not only with Chile but with other markets and also keep you informed if there are any trade leads. Occasionally we'll get emails from our colleagues telling us this is needed in this market. And then we can funnel those through to our clients.
(Kermali Jaleah): Okay.
Delia Valdivia: So the best thing for me to advise to you would be to contact the local trade specialists in your area.
(Kermali Jaleah): Fair enough. Thank you. And one more thing. Do - I could not hear the - half of this seminar. So how do I get a copy of it? How can I be able to listen to seminar from start one?
Delia Valdivia: Just so you all know, we will be emailing you a link to the audio portion of the...
(Kermali Jaleah): Beautiful.
Delia Valdivia: ...Webinar and it'll also have the slide that you can access.
(Kermali Jaleah): Thanks. Okay. I really do appreciate it.
Delia Valdivia: No problem. Thank you.
(Kermali Jaleah): Bye bye ma'am. Bye.
Coordinator: Mr. Guy Holman of Omega Masonry. Your line is open.
Guy Holman: Yes. Hi. Guy Holman here. I had a question regarding existing zoning and building codes. Is there a way to access, you know, either electronically or in (unintelligible) format existing codes?
Marcello Orellana: This is Marcello. Yes. There is a - there is a way of getting. I don't know about the electronic form. Or experience with zoning map is they are - when you get one zoning map for a specific area or town, it's a - basically it's a very dynamic - a very dynamic map of any given zone particularly after an earthquake of this magnitude.
But there are - they're not easy to get. I've seen them. I know it's something it's possible to get them. And they're rather - they try to keep them on hard copies more than in electronic form.
So if you would like to get a specific zoning for a specific zone in any particular city, you have to be very focused on which one are you interested and knowing that there is a, you know, these things, you know, normally take - requires a fee to be paid as a business facilitation services from our side and also to the Government entities that issue these documents.
But it's possible to get them. But, you know, with this disclaimer that it's - they are very dynamic documents.
Guy Holman: Okay.
Marcello Orellana: And I would suspect that they would be even more so given the changes that Matthew indicated earlier in the presentation. You know, the expo revealed once to, you know, most of the authorities want to go back to a - they don't want to go back. They want to move forward and have new zoning for new areas. So I'm pretty sure that all of the zoning maps and zoning criteria are being revised as we speak.
Guy Holman: Okay. So with the whole rebuilding process and with the revamping of coal just sort of like a work in progress, so they're really looking at, you know, from the design build category. I would say there would be a tremendous opportunity there.
Marcello Orellana: Yes. Yes. There would be a tremendous - but keep in mind that as Matthew also indicated that this is a highly competitive country. It's a completely open economy. And so it is engineering firms or zoning expertise from Latin Americans though European countries or even Asian countries, they will also be looking at it and because of the competitiveness scenario in the country.
Guy Holman: Okay. And just lastly, can you talk just about the realities of trying stage a project in the current conditions in Chile in terms of just the logistics of getting things around roads and, you know, getting product to the site, those type of conditions that are on the ground?
Marcello Orellana: Well, as was described earlier in the presentation, Chile came out of the what we could term the emergency status. And the roads are there. They need to be - the - most of the bridges are back to - you know, they can be used although they are temporary bridges. Most of them - most of the roads are being, you know, used, you know, lateral roads or alternative routes if it's not possible to use the highways.
But in general the country is working under fairly normal conditions. You know, the telecommunications, the, you know, the road infrastructure it's rendering the service it's supposed to except that there's many detours. Sometimes in terms of using, you know, double lane roads, then you have to use one lane or use an alternative route.
But the country is connected in all ways not only as far as roads are concerned but, you know, telecommunications. So in order to get a project done basically I would say that, and it was mentioned by Matthew as well, we would say that the key element is to get a local partner that will help you understand the details on how to go about getting into a project and understanding.
For example, you know, what is a concession, how to work with concessionaires, how to work with the Chilean Government, et cetera, et cetera. And that's where we come in. You know, that's how we can help you. You can tell us, you know, I would like to partner up with a company that has such expertise in this particular field and we can move from there and start from there finding an appropriate contact or partner for you.
Delia Valdivia: I have a quick question from one - another participant. Is there - is the Chilean Government have - do they have any regulations as far as rebuilding what green products or green technology? Can you guys answer that?
Marcello Orellana: This is Marcello again. There is a big push and it's coming on very strong and you may be familiar with the lead certification of construction infrastructure. It makes an important difference. Some new projects that are green projects will have a better chance of getting more attention in the international community, you know, keeping in mind that this is an - again, I cannot over stress the fact that this is an open economy.
You will find everybody here; the Germans, the Italians, the French, you know, the Australians, the New Zealanders and they are all looking for opportunities in these areas.
And certainly the - this type of certification, this green type of certifications are as you know in international markets are very well regarded. And the local developers know that. So they are setting up and putting up buildings with this type of certification. So the answer is yes, it's something that it's coming on very strong and as you know, it's, you know, and they're coming to stay.
Delia Valdivia: Thank you.
Coordinator: I do have four more questions on the phone. Tyrone Burks, Vision Worldwide. Your line is open.
Delia Valdivia: Can I just say one thing before you ask your question? We're now entering into - we've been on for one hour. And that's the time we said for the duration of the Webinar. If there's more questions, please feel free to ask them. But for other individuals if you have to get off the phone, we want to respect your time.
This is being recorded. So if you need to leave, you'll be able to access this at a later time. Okay. Thank you. Go ahead.
Tyrone Burks: Okay. I was interrupted and I didn't get to hear - finish hearing what he was saying about my company about me being a liaison person. And how can I - how can you guys work with me in partnering up with someone?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Well, it's Matthew again. If you didn't hear my answer, it was we can work together. I'd like to discuss the details, you know, offline.
Tyrone Burks: Okay.
Matthew Hilgendorf: We support anybody who is working with the U.S. - with a U.S. exporter. I mean if we don't, you know, you can't just be moving product from China through the U.S. Then you don't qualify. But if you work with a legitimate U.S. exporter, we'd love to work with you.
Tyrone Burks: Okay. All right. Okay. Okay. That sounds great.
Coordinator: Our next question comes from (Dario Rivera) of (Solv Solutions). Your line is open.
(Dario Rivera): Hi. Thank you. I work with a company that supplies simulators for training operators in different industries including but not limited to construction port, transportation, trains, bosses, I mean you name it. They have different kinds of simulators.
I would like to ask you about your perspectives on this, how you see the current opportunities in Chile for this kind of product.
Marcello Orellana: We have two people that can answer this question so - certainly, now when you talk about simulators, are these very sort of the type of, you know, F16 flight simulators, you know, for (unintelligible) simulators but for other applications (unintelligible).
(Dario Rivera): These are simulators for a specific application like dozer simulation, backhoe simulators.
Marcello Orellana: Okay.
(Dario Rivera): Train - being about to operate a train simulator. Very (unintelligible).
Marcello Orellana: Well, there is a - there is a huge demand for that in this country. Okay. The trick is that the amount of capital investment required to bring some of these machine is basically prohibitive for many of the companies that would like to use this type of technology.
But the demand is certainly here. Keeping in mind that this is a - not only a mining country but a country that runs public transportation but lets public transportation to be taken care of by private companies. And so there's a lot of demand for teaching new drivers how to drive large buses and, you know, huge and heavy trucks used in the mining sector as well as a construction sector.
So there are opportunities there. The only challenge as indicated is, you know, the capital outlay for, you know, for these type of machineries. Something that I would say that that's where the challenge resides. You know, how to get a - you know, hundreds of, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars equipment down here and get the return on the investment there quickly enough to, you know, make sense.
But the need is there. In fact some of the current bus operators are inclined to do something to get that type of technology into the country but something that we can certainly help you with and getting you the - not only the right information but the right companies to work with.
(Dario Rivera): Are we speaking of a specific - are you talking about specific model, brand model or just conceptually speaking of the technology?
Marcello Orellana: Depending on the industry, can be a specific module. For example in train can be a specific machine. Other ones are generic. But it depends on the industry.
(Dario Rivera): Who do I talk to on this regard?
(Claudia) Melkonian: Hi. This is (Claudia) Melkonian here in Santiago. Please contact me and I can do a little research for your product. And because now like this minute, I would not have ready information for you, so please contact me here at the office, (Claudia).Melkonian at trade.gov and we can talk about this.
(Dario Rivera): (Claudio.) what?
(Claudia) Melkonian: (Claudia).Melkonian, M-E-L-K-O-N-I-A-N at trade.gov.
(Dario Rivera): Trade.gov. Oh I got part of that.
(Claudia) Melkonian: Sorry.
(Dario Rivera): I got part of the information.
Delia Valdivia: We can follow up with you afterwards with the contact information.
(Claudia) Melkonian: Yes.
(Dario Rivera): Please. Thank you. Thank you very much.
(Claudia) Melkonian: You're welcome.
Coordinator: Our next question comes from Mr. (Steven Peters) of (Finnell and Peters) International. Your line is open. Go ahead with your question Mr. (Peters). Please check your mute switch. Mr. (Peters) your line is open. Go ahead Mr. (Peters) with you question.
Delia Valdivia: And we can move on to the next.
Coordinator: Okay. Mr. Robert Allen, you line is open.
Robert Allen: Hello.
Coordinator: Your line is open from STOIC International.
Robert Allen: Can you hear me?
Coordinator: Yes we can.
Robert Allen: Hi. This is Robert Allen, STOIC International. I have a couple of different questions, market sectors I want to get some information on. Namely in the beginning what is the status of the water resources in Chile? Is there a shortage of water? Is there water but it's contaminated or is everything - do they have a sufficient water need?
Matthew Hilgendorf: This is Matthew. We're divided up into sectors here. Our water expert isn't in the room currently. You know, overall Chile is - has a lot of fresh water, more than most countries do per square mile given their - you know, the mountains and the snow and the rivers.
And in fact you can drink the water here if that's at all relevant to the discussion. It's - the water supply is good overall. But for your question, we would love to get to you later and answer specifically and find out how we can help and where there's an opportunity. But I just don't have a way to answer it all right now. But what is the specific question if I may - we may ask you?
Robert Allen: Just as far as the water availability and the resources of water. I know from Mexico has a very big shortage of water. And...
Marcello Orellana: Are you talking about drinking water or industrial water?
Robert Allen: Drinking. Consumable.
Marcello Orellana: Okay. As Matthew indicated, the person in charge of that but what I, you know, what we can try I mean at this time is that one of - the water supply was one of the I would say the first - one of the first elements that was addressed right after the new administration came into power which was March 12.
And it was given, you know, the highest priority to have the water network back into operation as much as possible. But there were some obviously as, you know, as you can imagine, you know, with an 8.8 earthquake, there was a lot of - a lot of damage in the water distribution network.
And the - but the current status is something that one of our colleagues would be able to give you a better indication.
Robert Allen: Okay. Another brief question here. You all had mentioned the possibility of - the door was open for joint ventures with foreign and Chilean companies to land bigger projects, construction bids and all. Is that pretty much the only way a foreign company would land the large projects?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Is that the only way a big company would land one of those contracts?
Robert Allen: Right. I know a lot of times foreign countries they try to make it so it's difficult for a foreign country to win the big bucks. Is there such an obstacle in Chile?
Matthew Hilgendorf: Right. I understand the - I understand the phenomenon. It's - I don't - there's nothing here that says that a foreign company cannot win a concession or a contract. However, it just turns out that the ones that associate and create an alliance and bring the best product offering are the ones that win. And it typically is somebody who's, you know, partners.
Robert Allen: Right.
Marcello Orellana: And in addition to that, to answer your question, it's yes. Foreign countries can get into the big bucks projects. And I'll give you a couple of examples. One is the Santiago metropolitan area public transportation system is in private foreign hands as we speak.
The - most of the electricity generated in the country is in private foreign hands. Some of the tenders for telecommunications for example are also in private foreign hands. The only caveat to the comment is that these foreign companies have been here in the country so they understand the culture and the procedures.
They're not - I mean they're not - they don't make them difficult so that private foreign companies cannot come in. It's just that it's need to understand, you know, how to operate with their regulations. Okay. But the market is open and in fact you were concerned about - one of your question was the water supply.
Well the Canadians own a big chunk of the water supply in this country through a pension fund.
Robert Allen: Interesting.
Marcello Orellana: And so the, you know, the Italians are and the Spaniards, the French, the Germans, they're in many different areas and that's why it's so relevant and that was the relevancy of the - of telling you there is something that's called the concession program which most of the big project, large projects are developed.
You know, meaning, you know, they could go from highways to hospitals to schools, to prisons and you name it, all the big bucks projects as you indicated.
Robert Allen: One last part of the question here regarding these tenders and the trade lead. And it's a double fold question. Number 1, is - how much of the leads that are open down there will appear on the USCS Web site trade leads and is there a formal site in Chile that one can go to to review the different tenders?
Marcello Orellana: Well for the large - some of the large projects, there is a Web site that - you know, there is a company, you know, for fee company, private company that lists all the big - some of the big infrastructure projects named mostly mining projects.
The name escapes me right now but there is one. And you can certainly send me an email --this is Marcello -- to ask me what's the name of that Web site. I just don't remember exactly right now. But it lists, you know, the type of projects, you know, where are they going to come into and what stage are they in and when they're coming into the, you know, different development stage.
And also, you know, one of my colleagues (unintelligible) is just jotting down here some of the other Web sites having to do with infrastructure. One of them is mop and mop.cl under projects 2010, 2014. And then there's another Web site by the name of concession.cl. You'll see some of the, you know, the large infrastructure projects there. You know, it's public works mostly.
Robert Allen: Okay. Thank you.
Marcello Orellana: You're welcome.
Coordinator: Another question has populated. Ree Russell of U.S. Commercial Service, Charlotte. Your line is open.
Ree Russell: Thank you. I'm calling to ask if the demolition work has been done. Has the demolition company been selected or are there certain demolition projects that are still available to U.S. companies to bid on?
Marcello Orellana: This is Marcello again. There is plenty of demolition available here. Now to whether they are open to U.S. companies, the same strategy holds as indicated earlier. The idea is to get in touch with us so that we can find out who locally is handling these demolition projects.
But keep in mind that we're looking at almost 1/5 of the country that was hit pretty badly. So there's a lot of rubble still, you know, even in Santiago, okay. That's - but again, as Matthew mentioned, the best and most practical way would be to first talk to us so that we can help you find an appropriate partner and that can tell you, you know, what's the very latest status on the demolition opportunities.
But there's a lot to be - there's a lot of buildings that need to be demolished. They're deciding as we speak on which ones and how to - where are they going to start? Are they going to start in Santiago or are they going to start in (Van Carwa), Concepcion. It's not only building but also bridges need to be rebuilt.
Ree Russell: Is there a central ministry that's managing that?
Marcello Orellana: The Ministry of Public Works.
Ree Russell: Okay.
Marcello Orellana: And that was one of the Web sites we indicated to the - in the earlier portion. That's mop.cl.
Ree Russell: Thanks.
Marcello Orellana: You're welcome.
Coordinator: Currently no questions have populated. Would you like me to give the scripting again on how to ask a question?
Delia Valdivia: I think we're - we've gone 20, almost 20 minutes over the hour. So I think we probably want to wrap it up now.
Coordinator: Okay. Thank you.
Delia Valdivia: So thank you all for joining us and like me mentioned, this call, the Webinar portion will be sent out. A link for the Webinar portion will be sent out to all the participants. So you can access it at any time after the call.
Coordinator: This concludes today's call. Thank you for participating. You may disconnect at this time. Thank you.
Delia Valdivia: Operator, can you have the speakers in one please?
Coordinator: Yes ma'am. One moment.
Coordinator: One moment please. One moment please.