Chile

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Introduction - Chile:
CountryChile
BackgroundPrior to the coming of the Spanish in the 16th century, northern Chile was under Inca rule while Araucanian Indians (also known as Mapuches) inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Araucanian Indians were completely subjugated. A three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely elected president was installed in 1990. Sound economic policies, maintained consistently since the 1980s, have contributed to steady growth, reduced poverty rates by over half, and have helped secure the countrys commitment to democratic and representative government. Chile has increasingly assumed regional and international leadership roles befitting its status as a stable, democratic nation.
Location - Chile:
LocationSouthern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru
Geographic coordinates30 00 S, 71 00 W
Map referencesSouth America
Areatotal: 756,950 sq km
land: 748,800 sq km
water: 8,150 sq km
note: includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez
Area comparativeslightly smaller than twice the size of Montana
Land boundariestotal: 6,339 km
border countries: Argentina 5,308 km, Bolivia 860 km, Peru 171 km
Coastline6,435 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200/350 nm
Climatetemperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Terrainlow coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east
Elevation extremeslowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Nevado Ojos del Salado 6,880 m
Natural resourcescopper, timber, iron ore, nitrates, precious metals, molybdenum, hydropower
Land usearable land: 2.62%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 96.95% (2005)
Irrigated land19,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardssevere earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis
Environment current issueswidespread deforestation and mining threaten natural resources; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage
Environment international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography notestrategic location relative to sea lanes between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); Atacama Desert is one of worlds driest regions
People - Chile:
Population16,284,741 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 24.1% (male 2,010,576/female 1,920,951)
15-64 years: 67.4% (male 5,480,703/female 5,492,988)
65 years and over: 8.5% (male 576,698/female 802,825) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 30.7 years
male: 29.8 years
female: 31.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.916% (2007 est.)
Birth rate15.03 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate5.87 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.047 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.998 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.718 male(s)/female
total population: 0.982 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 8.36 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.96 years
male: 73.69 years
female: 80.4 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.97 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.3% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids26,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths1,400 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Chilean(s)
adjective: Chilean
Ethnic groupswhite and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%
ReligionsRoman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, Jehovahs Witness 1.1%, other Christian 1%, other 4.6%, none 8.3% (2002 census)
LanguagesSpanish
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 95.8%
female: 95.6% (2002 census)
Government - Chile:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Chile
conventional short form: Chile
local long form: Republica de Chile
local short form: Chile
Government typerepublic
Capitalname: Santiago
geographic coordinates: 33 27 S, 70 40 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
Administrative divisions13 regions (regiones, singular - region); Aisen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campo, Antofagasta, Araucania, Atacama, Biobio, Coquimbo, Libertador General Bernardo OHiggins, Los Lagos, Magallanes y de la Antartica Chilena, Maule, Region Metropolitana (Santiago), Tarapaca, Valparaiso
note: the US does not recognize claims to Antarctica
Independence18 September 1810 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 18 September (1810)
Constitution11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005
Legal systembased on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; note - in June 2005, Chile completed overhaul of its criminal justice system to a new, US-style adversarial system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Michelle BACHELET Jeria (since 11 March 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 11 December 2005, with runoff election held 15 January 2006 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Michelle BACHELET Jeria elected president; percent of vote - Michelle BACHELET Jeria 53.5%; Sebastian PINERA Echenique 46.5%
Legislative branchbicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (38 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve eight-year terms; one-half elected every four years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (120 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 11 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009); Chamber of Deputies - last held 11 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 20 (PDC 6, PS 8, PPD 3, PRSD 3), APC 17 (UDI 9, RN 8), independent 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPD 65 (PDC 21, PPD 22, PS 15, PRSD 7), APC 54 (UDI 34, RN 20), independent 1
Judicial branchSupreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are appointed by the president and ratified by the Senate from lists of candidates provided by the court itself; the president of the Supreme Court is elected every three years by the 20-member court); Constitutional Tribunal
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Chile (Alianza) or APC (including National Renewal or RN [Carlos LARRAIN Pena] and Independent Democratic Union or UDI [Hernan LARRAIN Fernandez]); Coalition of Parties for Democracy (Concertacion) or CPD (including Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Soledad ALVEAR], Socialist Party or PS [Camilo ESCALONA], Party for Democracy or PPD [Sergio BITAR Chacra], Radical Social Democratic Party or PRSD [Jose Antonio GOMEZ Urrutia]); Communist Party or PC [Guillermo TEILLIER]
Political pressure groups and leadersrevitalized university student federations at all major universities; Roman Catholic Church; United Labor Central or CUT includes trade unionists from the countrys five largest labor confederations
International organization participationABEDA, APEC, BIS, CAN (associate), CSN, FAO, G-15, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Mariano FERNANDEZ
chancery: 1732 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 530-4104, 530-4106, 530-4107
FAX: [1] (202) 887-5579
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Craig A. KELLY
embassy: Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago
mailing address: APO AA 34033
telephone: [56] (2) 232-2600
FAX: [56] (2) 330-3710
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence; design was influenced by the US flag
Economy - Chile:
Economy overviewChile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chiles reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in 1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because of lower export earnings - the latter a product of the global financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in 1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and electricity rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic growth for the first time in more than 15 years. Despite the effects of the recession, Chile maintained its reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Between 2000 and 2006 growth ranged between 2%-6%. Throughout these years Chile maintained a low rate of inflation with GDP growth coming from high copper prices, solid export earnings (particularly forestry, fishing, and mining), and growing domestic consumption. Chile continues to attract foreign direct investment, but most foreign investment goes into gas, water, electricity and mining. Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend over the past year, dropping to 7.8% at the end of 2006. Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, which took effect on 1 January 2004. Chile signed or ratified a number of trade agreements in 2006, including with China and India. Chile claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country. It has 57 such agreements (not all of them full free trade agreements), including with the European Union, Mercosur, South Korea, and Mexico.
Gdp purchasing power parity $202.7 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $111.8 billion (2006)
Gdp real growth rate4.2% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $12,700 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 5.9%
industry: 49.3%
services: 44.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force6.94 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 13.6%
industry: 23.4%
services: 63% (2003)
Unemployment rate7.8% (2006)
Population below poverty line18.2% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 47% (2000)
Distribution of family income gini index53.8 (2003)
Inflation rate consumer prices 2.6% (2006)
Investment gross fixed 21% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $36.71 billion
expenditures: $26.68 billion; including capital expenditures of $3.33 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt3.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsgrapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber
Industriescopper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles
Industrial production growth rate3.1% (2006)
Electricity production47.6 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity consumption48.52 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports1.744 billion kWh (2004)
Oil production15,100 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil consumption238,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil exports31,510 bbl/day (2004)
Oil imports222,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil proved reserves150 million bbl (1 January 2006)
Natural gas production1.09 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption8.29 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports7.2 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports7.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves97.98 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$5.063 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$58.21 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescopper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine
Exports partnersUS 15.6%, Japan 10.5%, China 8.6%, Netherlands 6.7%, South Korea 5.9%, Italy 4.9%, Brazil 4.8%, France 4.2% (2006)
Imports$35.37 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas
Imports partnersUS 15.6%, Argentina 12.6%, Brazil 11.8%, China 9.7% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$17.16 billion (November 2006 est.)
Debt external$47.6 billion (30 June 2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$0 (2006)
Currency code Chilean peso (CLP)
Exchange ratesChilean pesos per US dollar - 530.29 (2006), 560.09 (2005), 609.37 (2004), 691.43 (2003), 688.94 (2002)
Communications - Chile:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use3.326 million (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular12.451 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modern system based on extensive microwave radio relay facilities
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay links; domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations
international: country code - 56; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 180 (8 inactive), FM 64, shortwave 17 (1 inactive) (1998)
Television broadcast stations63 (plus 121 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code.cl
Internet hosts506,055 (2006)
Internet users4.156 million (2006)
Transportation - Chile:
Airports363 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 73
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 17 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 290
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 58
under 914 m: 216 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 2,567 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 42 km; liquid petroleum gas 539 km; oil 1,003 km; refined products 757 km; unknown (oil/water) 97 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 6,585 km
broad gauge: 2,831 km 1.676-m gauge (1,317 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,754 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 79,605 km
paved: 16,080 km (includes 407 km of expressways)
unpaved: 63,525 km (2001)
Merchant marinetotal: 46 ships (1000 GRT or over) 649,091 GRT/898,110 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 6, chemical tanker 10, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 3
foreign-owned: 1 (Argentina 1)
registered in other countries: 17 (Argentina 6, Brazil 1, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 9) (2006)
Ports and terminalsAntofagasta, Arica, Huasco, Iquique, Lirquen, San Antonio, San Vicente, Valparaiso
Military - Chile:
Military branchesArmy of the Nation, Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile, includes naval air, marine corps, and Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine Directorate (Directemar)), Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Chile, FACh), Chilean Carabineros (National Police) (2007)
Military service age and obligation18-45 years of age for voluntary military service; service obligation - 12 months for Army, 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 3,815,761
females age 18-49: 3,780,864 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 3,123,281
females age 18-49: 3,128,277 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 140,084
females age 18-49: 134,518 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp2.7% (2006)
Disputes internationalChile rebuffs Bolivias reactivated claim to restore the Atacama corridor, ceded to Chile in 1884, offering instead unrestricted but not sovereign maritime access through Chile to Bolivian gas and other commodities; Chile rejects Perus unilateral legislation to change its latitudinal maritime boundary with Chile to an equidistance line with a southwestern axis favoring Peru; territorial claim in Antarctica (Chilean Antarctic Territory) partially overlaps Argentine and British claims; the joint boundary commission, established by Chile and Argentina in 2001, has yet to map and demarcate the delimited boundary in the inhospitable Andean Southern Ice Field (Campo de Hielo Sur)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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