Snapshot: Private sector views on Chile’s constitutional rewrite agreement

Bnamericas Published: Friday, December 16, 2022
Snapshot: Private sector views on Chile’s constitutional rewrite agreement

Representatives of various quarters of Chile’s private sector have commented on the constitutional rewrite agreement struck recently by lawmakers, with a common thread being the importance of constructive dialogue.

After several months of gridlock, elected officials agreed on a fresh process, which should result in Chileans getting a new magna carta within a year.

The accord – given that it was reached via institutional channels – should ease uncertainty. In September, voters firmly rejected a sprawling draft that was progressive but deemed by many as radical, woolly and not representative of the majority of the population.

ALSO READ: Chile’s new constitutional rewrite process – What you need to know

The fresh process gets underway next month with the establishment of a committee of experts tasked with putting together a draft framework and supporting the 50 elected people, to be known as councilors and who are scheduled to start devising the fresh proposal in May.

Proposals will require approval by three-fifths of councilors to form part of the new draft. All eyes will be on the political makeup of the drafting body and the ideas put forward, although the likelihood of suggestions for radical social and institutional reforms appears to have eased. 

A big question mark concerning constitutional change has been hanging over Chile since the social protests of late 2019, when calls for a new magna carta spurred lawmakers to begin a reform process. This, in turn, has fueled uncertainty and impacted investment decisions. The first process got underway in 2020, with an entry plebiscite. 

Demands of citizens focus on areas including education, pensions, healthcare, public security, equal opportunities and the environment. Because of the narrow time window councilors have, the proposal may focus on key areas and recycle some parts of the current constitution.

Richard von Appen, chairman of Chilean industry federation Sofofa, said in a statement:

“Sofofa appreciates the fact political forces have reached an agreement to proceed to the writing of a new proposal for a political constitution. 

“We hope that, this time, a text that is representative and integrating is constructed, one that reflects the feelings of a vast majority of Chileans and which allows us to lay the foundations of Chile for the coming decades with peace and harmony

“Although Sofofa considers that congress should ideally propose a new constitution, it is very important that an agreement has been reached that contributes to reducing the current uncertainty that dominates the business environment.”

Claudio Seebach, executive director of Chilean power generation association Generadoras de Chile, told BNamericas: 

“These processes are institutional and when agreements and consensuses are arrived at through dialogue, certainty and confidence in the institutions of our country is generated.

“Indeed, we are an industry with a high proportion of foreign investors with a long-term vision who have placed their trust in our country, independent of its legitimate internal processes.”

Jorge Riesco, president of national mining association Sonami, said in a statement:

“We are confident that the proposed design will allow us to adequately represent the majority forces in the country and guide the debate in the constituent body thinking about the future of Chile and the drafting of a magna carta that unites the country and lays the foundations for the leap to development.”

Andrónico Luksic, director of Antofagasta Minerals and several other large companies, commented on his Twitter account: “It’s good news that an agreement has been reached. It is to be hoped that this spirit and the level of dialogue achieved will be maintained to see if this time we are capable, as a country, of reaching a good new constitution.”

Dante Arrigoni, president of Chile’s metallurgical association Asimet, said that despite the delay in reaching a consensus, the pact reached by the political forces "should generate stability and legal certainty in a scenario in which Chile needs to position itself as a credible country to attract investment."

Key Dates 

January 2023: Establishment of committee of experts
April 2023: Election, via mandatory vote, of constitutional councilors
May 21, 2023: Establishment of the constitutional council
October 21, 2023: Submission of draft text
November 26, 2023: Exit plebiscite with obligatory vote.

Subscribe to the leading business intelligence platform in Latin America with different tools for Providers, Contractors, Operators, Government, Legal, Financial and Insurance industries.

Subscribe to Latin America’s most trusted business intelligence platform.

Other projects

Get key information on thousands of projects in Latin America, from current stage, to capex, related companies, key contacts and more.

Other companies

Get key information on thousands of companies in Latin America, from projects, to contacts, shareholders, related news and more.

  • Company: Green Solar Energia  (Green Solar)
  • The description contained in this profile is taken directly from an official source and has not been edited or modified by BNamericas researchers, but may have been machine tran...