Chile's Pinera promises to spur investment with tax reform

FILE PHOTO: Chile's President Sebastian Pinera holds a news conference during the 13th Pacific Alliance Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday that his overhaul of the country’s tax structure would “modernize” Chile’s revenue system and stimulate investment by local and foreign companies.

The conservative leader said in a televised address that reform would, among other proposals, calibrate taxes paid by conventional companies with those paid by digital technology companies. The reform aims “to create a simpler and more equitable and fully integrated tax system for all Chilean companies.”

Digital commerce companies with local operations like Netflix NFLX.O and Uber are likely to be affected under the reform.

E-commerce is gaining traction in Latin America after a slow start. Last month, an Amazon Web Services vice president met with Pinera to discuss Amazon investing in the country as part of a longer-term regional expansion plan.

Pinera, a billionaire second-term president, whose first term as president was marred by protests over rising inequality, in June detailed a $26 billion spending plan and called for unity as Chile continues its “vigorous march toward development.”

Reporting by Felipe Iturriera