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Chile President Gabriel Boric Puts Clean Energy at Center of Key Trip to Europe

(Bloomberg) — Chile’s President Gabriel Boric will bring his clean energy pitch to Europe as he works to keep the country at the forefront of the global green transition.

Boric will embark this weekend for a trip to Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and France, according to a press release. He is eager to attract new foreign investment, partly on the back of a recently signed framework agreement between the European Union and Chile. The deal could give the EU better access to Chile’s raw minerals as it moves toward a greener economy.

The trip will serve to identify business opportunities and to keep investors up to date with Chile’s strategy in the main energy industries, Economy Minister Nicolas Grau said in a press release late Thursday. “To accelerate growth and investment, it is key that we visit the markets that are interested in our country,” he said.

Boric has sought to double lithium output, while also giving more control to the government. Chile is the world’s top producer of copper and second-largest producer of lithium, key materials used in the shift away from fossil fuels. 

Topics on the table include the export of Chile’s renewable energy riches, with officials expecting 10 to 12 investment decisions into green hydrogen by the end of Boric’s term in early 2026. State miner Codelco recently signed a public-private partnership with SQM at the Atacama salt flat. Another state mining firm, Enami, is also fielding prospective partners at a lithium project. 

Boric is set to land in Berlin on Monday and meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz that day. He will then meet with Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on June 13. Boric will also travel to Switzerland June 15 to participate in the Ukraine Peace Summit, and conclude in Paris before returning to Chile June 18. 

The European Union is the main investor in Chile, with a stock of about $67 billion, according to Karla Flores, director of state agency InvestChile.

Codelco Chair Maximo Pacheco and the chief executive of economic development agency Corfo, Jose Miguel Benavente, will accompany Boric. 

–With assistance from Philip Sanders.

(Corrects spelling of Sweden’s Prime Minister name on 6th paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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