Industrial Innovation Needed to Curb Chile’s Dependence on Copper

Industrial Innovation Needed to Curb Chile’s Dependence on Copper
A bulldozer works at the Chuquicamata copper mine in the Atacama desert, Chile, Sept. 25, 2012 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries.

Last week at a mining industry event, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet gave a speech about the need for Chile to create a “post-copper economy.” In an email interview, Leonardo Letelier, the director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Chile, discussed the impact of the commodities bust on Chile’s economy.

WPR: How important are commodities for Chile’s economy, and what impact have falling commodities prices had on the economy and in turn domestic politics?

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