Chile: A Sound Economy

Chile – Malaysia MASSCORP/MASSA: 3-decades´ building bricks in the wake of the Chile-ASEAN Development Partnership

H.E. Don Diego Velasco-von Pilgrimm,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to Malaysia and to Brunei Darussalam,


Brief History and Current Affairs

It is a privilege for us to make a forward on a focus on Chile, upon invitation by MASSA-MASSCORP, the first ever since the establishment of the Resident Embassy of Chile to Malaysia in 1989. In this auspicious occasion, it is important to recall that MASSCORP was established as a consequence of the exploratory missions of Malaysia to South America in the early 1990’s, given the then -and today even more- potential for our respective regions.

Ever since, the bilateral activity between our countries went into a high dynamism, witnessing the very first Malaysian investments in South America, such as the Malaysia Building in Santiago and the development of a satellite social housing project in the Chilean Railworks “Maestranza de San Bernardo”, including a 45 km rail link to the capital´s main subway network, endeavors that bordered US$ 200 million. 

By the other hand, along other areas, Chile´s Navy Shipyards ASMAR explored and carried out cooperation in shipbuilding in Kuching and Lumut, resulting in the jointly building of one coastal tanker and two tugboats.

Consolidating these activities, we have signed 10 bilateral agreements ranging from information to culture; from Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation to Investments Promotion and Investment protection and for the Avoidance of Double Taxation; from Antarctic sciences to export promotion cooperation; and from education in foreign affairs and public service to defense matters.

The latest one, the Chile-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement of 2010 is the only one of this kind signed by Malaysia with any country of the entire American continent, from the North to the South poles.

As well, in the international arena, in 2019 Chile became Development Partner with ASEAN, and in 2021 ASEAN and partners welcomed our interest to access the ASEAN Australia & New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA). Malaysia has always been key to our participation in the region, ever since the support for Chile to join APEC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly reshaped in many new ways the cooperation and future of bilateral and multilateral relations, opening a broad scenario for the new technologies, be there in communications, in science, in clean energy and on protection of the seas and the effects of climate change, including social and public policy to adjust to these changes.

Today, we are proud to inform the strengthening of our bilateral ongoing bonds by revitalizing those agreements with the actors themselves. Indeed, we are now working on joint investments on Green Hydrogen development, cooperation among technical universities, activated the Cultural Agreement to promote joint works among Sister Cities in historic values as well as in tourism and youth, supported the signing of an MoU on cooperation in Robotics, Artificial Intelliegence and Drones, reenacted cooperation on Antarctic sciences, and validated the MoU in Export Promotions Cooperation.

We believe that we mutually can benefit our Peoples -and our respective regions- by this spirit of cooperation, that has shown so many positive outcomes before and is vibrant and vivid now for the common future. In this, it seems timely to mention two initiatives that will give new shape to cooperation in culture, science, industry, and businesses.

First, is Chile´s fiber optic submarine cable -the Humboldt Project- linking 13,000 kms directly South America with Asia Pacific through New Zealand and Australia, to make the Asia-South America Digital Highway a reality a distance. Expected to be operative around 2025, Brazil and Argentina have also joined the project.  Through this cable, for instance, Asia will be able to connect directly and in real time with the most advanced astronomical research capability, as by 2030, 70% of the world´s top optical observatories and millimetric arrays are going to be in Chile´s northern desserts.

Secondly, and on the back of having the world´s highest solar irradiation, on November 12th, 2021, Chile has launched the initiative to build a similar submarine cable, this time for energy transmission line to Asia, for our daily light-energy to be used in the nighttime halfway across the world, thus alleviating carbon-emitting generation. This massive undertaking implies a line between 11,000 to 18,000 kms.

The Team of the Embassy of Chile, which includes the Trade Representative of ProChile based in Kuala Lumpur and the InvestChile Asia Office based in Japan, have been tirelessly working with Malaysia for this impulse notwithstanding the pandemic, and the outcome is concrete and visible which encourages more to be of service in its pursuit.


Long live to the Chile-Malaysia Friendship!

Banyak terima kasih. Muchas gracias


Diego Velasco-von Pilgrimm
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to Malaysia


Business Feature:
Chile: A Sound Economy

Article by:

Don Vincente Pinto,
Investment Commissioner of Chile for Asia (



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You are also invited to read Newsletter #3 ProChile ASEAN here: 

MASSA extends its appreciation to H.E. Don Diego Velasco-von Pilgrimm, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to Malaysia and to Brunei Darussalam, the Embassy of Chile to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam and InvestChile, representative for Asia, based in Tokyo for this Country Feature.