A delegation of more than 20 Microsoft executives visited the country late last year to assess investment opportunities. They met the president, Ricardo Lagos, several government ministers and industrial leaders.

Craig Mundie, head of the delegation and global vice-president of technology strategy, told the El Mercurio newspaper: “One of the important things that we saw was the willingness to experiment and adopt new technologies. In both the public and private sectors it seemed that things were being done well and fast.”

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Mr Mundie cited educational weaknesses and a cultural bias against entrepreneurs as negative aspects. However, he said Chile was a place where Microsoft could “make a mega investment and try out technological experiments”, adding: “We identified more than 12 different types of potential opportunities, and in the coming months we will analyse in more detail the areas where we can participate.”