Campus: CSU Hayward -- January 14, 2004

Chile Emerges as an Economic Force With Help from Cal State Hayward

Chile’s largest agribusiness and industrial export associations have asked California State University, Hayward to help them learn how to introduce products into the United States.

“Chile is one of the more remote countries in the world, but its political stability and an open economy have made it one of the most accessible trading nations on earth,” said Shyam Kamath, director of the Transnational Executive MBA program, known as TEMBA, at Cal State Hayward. “Chile already has a free trade agreement with the U.S. and is an associate member of the MERCOSUR Latin American common market.

“The mechanisms are in place to allow for a tremendous increase in trade with the United States and the rest of the world.”

In December 2003, Chilean firms began working with participants in TEMBA’s Global Business Strategic Consulting Program. The first agreement was signed with the Association of Exporters and Manufacturers of Chile. The pact was signed Dec. 3 at the association’s headquarters in Santiago by its president, Roberto Fantuzzi, and James Kelly, associate vice president for Continuing and International Programs at Cal State Hayward.

Another agreement was reached with a trade association of more than 80 food exporters representing 80 percent of Chilean agribusiness. The Chilean Agribusiness and Food Processors Federation has member companies that produce juice concentrate and products that are canned, dehydrated and frozen.
When the agreements were signed, Kamath and Kelly were in Santiago with 18 TEMBA participants for a first-hand look at the burgeoning Chilean economy and to meet economists and scholars in a country of 15 million people. The TEMBA program is funded by student and client fees and enrolls mid-career and senior executives in the U.S. who participate in a 13-month series of global class modules.

As part of their course work, four and five-member teams of TEMBA executives participate in strategic consulting studies worldwide, demonstrating to South American, Asian and European companies how to introduce specific products into the American market.

Cal State Hayward must keep confidential the specific Chilean companies it works with, but TEMBA consultant Johnson Pushpanathan said he could disclose that one client’s product currently has just .01 percent of the U.S. market.

“Our clients realize that in the U.S. market they will have to face giants in their industry and that the high quality of their product alone won’t make for a successful introduction,” said Pushpanathan, product manager at Sand Hill Systems in San Jose, Calif. “To know the strategic moves in positioning and marketing they need the kind of research and recommendations we will bring them.”

“Chilean companies are ready to move into the American market, but they need to know the size and growth of the market for their products,” said Venugopal Nair, a TEMBA team member and a manager at GDA Technologies in Gold River, Calif. “It also is important for them to understand how U.S. consumers perceive Chilean products, and that’s why research is so important.”

The TEMBA teams will report back to their Chilean clients in October with recommendations and the results of their research.

Media Contact: Kim Huggett, Public Affairs, (510) 885-2032

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