Chile preparing new law to lure foreign investment: media

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The recently inaugurated government of Chile’s conservative President Sebastian Pinera is preparing a new law aimed at attracting foreign investments, the mines minister was quoted telling a local newspaper on Sunday.

Baldo Prokurica, who took office with Pinera last week, said the government was preparing a decree that would be similar to one repealed by socialist President Michelle Bachelet in 2016, according to an interview with La Tercera.

Bachelet had argued that the law, which provided tax and regulatory incentives for foreign investments, was no longer needed given years of stability in Chile, the world’s top copper producer.

“We think that for economic activities such as mining, which represent important volumes of investments, it’s crucial to have certainty and clear and stable rules,” Prokurica was quoted as saying in La Tercera. “That’s our goal.”

Prokurica’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comments outside regular business hours.

Pinera’s government has vowed to reactivate $50 billion in mining investments that it says have been held back by red tape. Some of the world’s biggest mining companies, such as BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX), Glencore Plc (GLEN.L) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N), operate in Chile.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)