However, a report on “Chilecon Valley” in that very same issue is the rare exception that caught my attention to prove the rule. In a couple of related articles, The Economist lays out an exposé of the Chilecon Valley phenomenon, detailing both its aptitudes and flaws. Naturally, the discussion of topics like Chile’s efforts to attract foreign entrepreneurs cannot be all rosy (due to those notorious economic and governmental situations). But the fact that The Economist can avoid dwelling solely on the negative, makes these two articles blog-worthy.
Chilecon Valley refers to Chile’s recent attractiveness to (talented) immigrants, largely
resulting from the “Start-Up Chile” program, which aims to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to
build and establish their companies in Chile. These articles do recognize and consider the obstacles originating in the political and economic environment of the country. Yet, they are well-rounded, like no other appearance of Latin America in contemporary media, in examining the program’s virtues of conception and method and the positive development it engendered. For example, the first of the two articles, “The Chilecon Valley Challenge”, definitively argues that Chile is “hardly a paradise for entrepreneurs” with its small market, rare capital, and punitive laws for bankrupt enterprises.
However, even as it recognizes that Chile is only the alternative for talented immigrants who cannot establish themselves elsewhere (i.e. the United States), the article focuses on the fact that Chile adequately noted the necessity of foreign entrepreneurship to economic development and attempted the correct response. (Its suggestion that, on this immigration issue, “America can learn a lot from Chile” goes beyond anything we could reasonably expect of a balanced article given the current tendency in media.) The second article describes how despite certain shortcomings Start-Up Chile is, in conception at least, the measure necessary to develop the entrepreneurship of a country (so Latin America is doing something right! woah!). Specifically, it outlines the program’s successes in raising Chile’s reputation abroad as a center of enterprise and in inspiring local entrepreneurs and universities. Where the program and Chile’s policies are inadequate, “[there] are some signs that things could change for the better”. Surely, it is understandable that most reporting on Latin America must point out faults, for they are indeed abundant. But positive and creative developments, deserving of the international notice, are not non-existent. They, are however, much at risk of being effaced in the current mediatic enthusiasm for negative (albeit serious) journalism on Latin America.
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