The origins of DL 600 date back to the 1970’s when Chile radically modified its foreign investment policy, abandoning a restrictive regime established within the framework of the Andean Pact in favor of one anchored in non-discrimination and limits on the discretionary powers of the administrative authorities. This new regime offered foreign investors greater guarantees and incentives through Decree Law 600, the Foreign Investment Statute, which came into force in its original form in August 1974.
This regime is based on legal and economic principles enshrined in Chile’s Political Constitution. This has the maximum legal hierarchy and, on matters referring to economic public order, guarantees economic freedom and private property rights.
The original text of DL 600 was ratified by Congress in March 1993, with only minor modifications. The ongoing existence of this law over time reflects the importance given by Chile to a stable, long-term foreign investment policy.
Since 1974, the majority of foreign investors have chosen to use this mechanism. By 2007, foreign investment worth US$64.7 billion had been materialized under DL 600, representing 71% of the foreign capital effectively entering Chile during that period.
One of the key reasons why foreign investors prefer DL 600 is that, as well as including the principles of non-discrimination, non-discretionary treatment and economic freedom, it also provides legal certainty and stability.
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