Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Pool Laurie Dieffembacq/ZumaPress

Nubes de incertidumbre en Chile

CAMBRIDGE – Cuando visité Chile este mes, me causó impresión el contraste entre el palpable éxito de sus políticas de libre mercado, aplicadas de manera constante a lo largo de muchos años, y la agenda actual de su presidenta de izquierdas, Michelle Bachelet. El modo como se resuelva este contraste será importante no solamente para los más de 17 millones de habitantes del país, sino para todo aquel que lo considere un modelo de lo que es posible lograr mediante políticas económicas sólidas.

El desempeño económico de Chile ha sido el más sólido de América del Sur. Su PGB per cápita supera los $22.000 en términos de paridad de poder de compra, superior al de Argentina, Brasil y México. No es de sorprender que se lo considere un país desarrollado; de hecho, es el único miembro sudamericano de la OCDE.

El cobre es el principal producto de Chile y representa la mitad de sus exportaciones. Aunque el estado es propietario de Codelco, el mayor productor mundial de este metal, se trata de la única empresa de propiedad pública del país. Sus ingresos varían según el precio global del cobre, produciendo utilidades mayores en algunos años y menores cuando éste disminuye (por ejemplo, este año). El gobierno sigue una sensata estrategia fiscal que apunta a superávits presupuestarios en los años de altos ingresos por el cobre, y los fondos adicionales se canalizan a un fondo de estabilización nacional.

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