- The role inequality has played in the protests that have affected Chile since late 2019, and the lessons that can be drawn.
- Chile’s response to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the country
- How Chile is strengthening its intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, in light of its continued inclusion in the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Priority Watch List.
- Opportunities for foreign investment in the fisheries and aquaculture industries, as well as the tech sector.
- Our guests’ views on Chile’s prospects going forward and its place in Latin America.
- China’s role in the Chilean economy.
- Reading, listening, and watching recommendations from:
- Juan – Piensa al revés (Roberto Cahmi)
- Mario – Desiguales. Orígenes, cambios y desafíos de la brecha social en Chile (United Nations Development Program) and The Plot Against America: A Novel (Philip Roth)
- Jonathan – Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong draws thousands despite coronavirus-related ban (South China Morning Post)
- Fred – Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
If you have comments on this episode or if you’d like to suggest topics for future episodes, please email globallawbiz [at] harrisbricken [dot] com.
And please follow Fred and Jonathan on social media to stay informed on upcoming guests and topics:
This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.
Fred Rocafort 0:08
Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other, developing and developed nations wax and wane and their importance in the global stage. While consumption and interconnectedness both increase, laws and regulations change incessantly, requiring businesses to stay nimble. How do we make sense of it all? Welcome to global law and business, hosted by Harris Bricken. This International Business attorneys, I’m Fred Rocafort
Jonathan Bench 0:35
and I’m Jonathan Bench. Every Thursday, we take a bite sized look at legal and economic developments and locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law in business with the help of our international guests. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.
Fred Rocafort 0:59
We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us via email and social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.
Today we turn our attention to Chile. In recent months, the country has been associated with the mass protests against the government of president Sebastián Piñera. According to most observers at the root of these protests are Chile’s dramatic inequalities. Indeed, the country’s Gini coefficient, which measures inequality is the highest within the OECD. The unrest in Chile has cast a shadow over the narrative of Chile as a rare success story in economically mismanaged Latin America. At the same time, we should not lose sight of what Chile has done right. Thanks to its embrace of free market principles export led growth and fiscal discipline. The country’s per capita income is nearly twice the regional average. It may be the most unequal country in the OECD. But then again, it is the only South American member of that elite group, and the only one of three Latin American countries classified by the World Bank as high income, with the other two being much smaller economies. With us today to discuss how Chile is moving ahead are two Chilean lawyers Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana Mario Tapia Echeverría. Juan and Mario welcome.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 2:33
Thank you Fred
Mario Tapia Echeverría 2:34
thank you Fred
Jonathan Bench 2:36
Juan and Mario thank you for being with us today. We’re very excited to learn more about your backgrounds and about what’s going on in today. Could we start with one would you give us a little bit of your background about yourself in your and your legal practice?
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 2:50
Thank you Jonathan. Well, I’m a lawyer. I’m the former head of the government in the Chilean Ministry of secret the general secretary At the presidency, I’ve been a counselor at core forces to the industry’s program, a member of the board of Latin America and Caribbean electronic government network. So currently I am practicing in, in the tech fields, IP and tech fields, And I am the founder of my office called the Legal Agile So that’s what I’m addressing, I would like to address those subjects in this presentation.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 3:36
It’s such a short to attend these podcast. Thank you Jonathan and Fred for the invitation and also to my Chilean colleague on the thought whom I share this again, as I as you know, my name is Mario. I’m a Chilean lawyer. And along with four partners, we run out 20 lawyers law firm called Casa Linda Marie woman and Talia, focus in the National Resources regulation. We’re very specialized in mind law energy Other rights, environmental, fishing and aquaculture law and also we have an additional area which is critical for these industries that we normally attend. I am focusing fishing and aquaculture law, it is my expertise area, and also have some practicing corporate law.
Fred Rocafort 4:16
Thank you both for those introductions. Turning to, to the matter of the protests, with which many of our listeners will be will be familiar. Again, Chile has undergone significant social convulsions, starting in October of last year. I would like it if you both could share your thoughts about these events, and specifically the impact that they have had on the Chilean economy. I know that the issue of COVID-19 is complicating the issues related to the unrest. So I would like to hear your thoughts about that as well. And finally And I think this is very important. given everything that’s going on right now, here in the United States. I’d be really interested in hearing what what you think about possible lessons that other countries can learn about what has happened in Chile over the past few months. So perhaps, Mario, you could you could share your thoughts first and then one.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 5:24
Well, as indicated at the beginning of this presentation, and indeed, one of the things that are not the root of the broader since October last year, is the inequality that we have as a country. In the 90s, we had great economic growth, Chile open to the world and began to generate wages and trading partners, such as a China, Europe and the US. That mean I made your trade along with the duration of jobs in children. I believe that Chile make great progress on that. Thanks to the free market. between schools and the promotion of prepaid relation for this proposes, we’re improving structures, it manage to improve road infrastructure, increased educational structure and manage to reach places further away from society. This strong momentum of the economy allow many people to live out from of extreme poverty and reduce it sharply. However, it failed to break the inequality gap will remain us not assigning because have inclusive society. I am very confident that the challenge is there. We need to break down equal inequality. The fact of living in a not in classic society along with a poor development in public policies, for example, occasional health, in health, a social person. We have a lot of people with access to the healthy system. But importantly, many people with access to credit to buy houses and cars but they will With banking interests that are not possible to pay with access to integration, but not to the litigation. We are living now the cost of economic development and social advances advancement of those years. In the claim that we have now our society relies on that issues. We think that isn’t the root of that last year broadest. And we thought this year was going to be a year of improving this inequalities and working on structural changes to achieve this. It we stumble upon a pandemic that has only meant further deepening that gap. And not only narrows of the location in health, but also in economy and in economic one. It precisely the most vulnerable people are the ones that lost their jobs in times of crisis. faces the greatest dilemma with a quote today and on they are the ultimately people most affected. Fortunately, chile has had in the past an austere policy of fiscal spending, which has allowed saving resources for times like this. And from that perspective, a implementing policies, it goes in the benefit of those people more more effective in connection with the lessons that you said, Fred, I believe that countries should give themselves time to listen, the demands the needs from the people, but they must also do it responsible structural reforms requires time of analysis and studies. And I don’t think it appropriate to structure relevant change in a country in a short period of time.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 8:43
I do agree with everything that Mario stated, I believe that the main problem to the faces is that we have a model based on economic growth without taking into consideration the social sustainability which is not a surprise for Anybody here because all the all the demands from the the social society, from the academics from from have been part of the public agenda had stated that the problems in education, the problems in healthcare and the problems from from opportunities for development or for people who are not a part of the of the wealthy or the wealthiest population intended are really restricted in bringing in conditions for human dignity. So one of the what, what led into the social outburst was mainly years of not attending these problems, that word manifest as you know, Chile has The same constitution since the fascist dictatorship, we only had a constitutional reform in 1989. And then in 2005, just to work to some minimum constitutional guarantees, but it wasn’t enough. So after nearly 30 years of of having the need of constitutional reforms in the public agenda, it just led to a point where it just It wasn’t a situation that could be more tolerable for society. So it led into symbolic or symbolic situation in which some students just skip the subway which is brought The reaction from the government into some phrases from ministers that were intolerable for for the society and society as a whole, which led to manifestations of 1,200,000 people in the streets of Santiago, that it went, there were national wide, and then some riots way to move forward the political agenda to make to address this constitutional changes. So I believe that the main reason, as Mario stated is to listen to listen to people. We’re living in times where people is more empowered regarding the rights and they’re more empowered regarding taking to actions. So they’re more willing to take the political representatives, they’re more willing to, to change the governments to make to make more profound relief. Farmers, both to the to the legal system and both to the, to the social scheme. So the the thing and how we can address this situation. And what would be my recommendation is that knowing that people now is more empowered. And with new technologies, it’s more easy to move forward into these changes and to generate the influences in the agenda. Governments, enterprises, and decision makers have to have to be more willing to be more willing and more open to well, incorporate all the different stakeholders into the decision making of how we think about country in the future. So I believe that’s the that’s Big talent, but it’s a necessity for today’s times, how we do business, how we do politics, how we do public policies, on how we have to address these kinds of matters in the future.
Jonathan Bench 13:17
Now we’d like to turn to your areas of expertise. Juan, could we start with you, you’re specializing in intellectual property data protection tech sector. Can you describe to us the panorama in Chile when it comes to these areas? We know you played a key role in the development of the Chilean digital agenda. Could you tell us a little bit about that, in particular, its expected impact on the economy and choose position as an investment destination.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 13:43
Even though even though Chile has had some tough times, regarding the social outburst, and now with the coronavirus pandemic, us the rest of the world. Our country’s well known for being a very serious country. Regarding the protections of birthright and the canonical stability, and will surely we will find a way to to bounce into all the required constitutional changes and to and to reinvent some of the strategic business models that we have in our country. There have been some complications right now to the world, the situation. But without any doubts. I will look actively as one of the follow the countries in which to invest in the in the short term, a white base because even though we’re having this tough times, told, they’re not into the public agenda, any kind of of substantial changes in how we have been doing business or how we face and we understand our economical model in the in the in the political agenda. And that’s something that we we we face with a lot of commitment from all the political parties, right and left sides. And the talent will be how we can make more participant all the society in this economic growth, but not to change the way we have been doing business in the last 20 years. So in this regard, in particular in the tech industry. Well, the industry is just increasing and increasing and getting bigger and we are exporting a lot of off of services right now. nowadays, we have a demand for a demand for 50,000 software development just to satisfy the internal needs of software development. So you can expect to be this one of the crucial companies for doing for doing business and to expand the new economists hearing to them. So, regarding IP regarding intellectual property rights, we’re nowadays sadly, we’re still into the into the us into the US trade representatives broke the watch list as a country. We have some recommendations regarding the protection of intellectual property rights, but we’re addressing some of those recommendations, with some brief legal reforms went to the Senate for industrial property law regarding trademarks and patents, mainly something that it’s very, very substantial is that nowadays in judo need to use our trademarks or marks for to apply for the trademark rights for your company. That will change. So now probably, as expected, we’ll face a situation in which we’ll have a more more movement into this market. And on all the property, industry, property, intellectual property rights will be strengthened to be looking forward to comply with the US recommendations. And also to address some of the problem changes that all companies make in business to they have to have to forward because it’s part of the of the short term. The agenda is that we’re making we’re making changes in our data privacy protection law, or one of the most important legal changes we’re facing right now with Chile regarding the privacy and data protection, protects law which will changes to get a more solid, strong legal framework for data compliancy, and data compliance and treatment in Chile which takes many of the elements of the rgpd from the European Union and mainly will require dedication data compliance programs in Chile. And to take too many of the of the and will tend to the framework and how companies right now how to treat and to elaborate that the basis right now. So I believe that is the most important change currently in the, in this short term legal agenda.
Fred Rocafort 19:29
Turning to you, Mario, you are fishing and aquaculture law expert. It is my understanding that these are industries that play a critical role in the Chilean economy. I’d like to hear more about your role as a legal adviser to companies in these sectors. What does that work involved you actually get to visit a lot of the the the facilities that these companies operate on Just Just curious about that. I would also like to hear a little bit more about opportunities that might exist for inbound investment by foreign companies that have experience in in these sectors and also about a prospects for outbound expansion by Chilean businesses.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 20:24
Thank you for your question. Yes, I think the first thing that I would like to address here is that fishing activity is very different from agricultural activity. They are both different kinds of activities. We both share the fiber they rely on fisheries, the nature of the activity in both case are completely different. If you can activity without the cash to fish, that if the fish is raised in the in the sea, the sea feed, feed and deliver it to us In the aquaculture activity, what we do there is we care of the fish, we raise it feed and then we harvest. So like one thing is that the sea provide you the fish and in the in the in the agriculture activity you have to provide the fish you care have the fish and then you have the fishing activity is the central point of the economic activity in Chile is just to have an inefficient activity in Chile. We have mainly two stakeholders, the small scale fisherman, which in Spanish call it big artisanal, and then we have the efficient companies or the efficient industry. We see there the big boats, the fish, the big fish in Brussels, they have different spatial relation. In some activities, there is a quite a complementation between them Industry efficient activity has not been affected by the pandemic probably. They have continued operating without me or complication, but with a strict health protocols needed to complete an 18. The one that have been most be affected due to the COVID are the small scale fishermen who have been affected in their distribution chain. Something similar to the word the short term that we know us bodega hotel, restaurant and catering because they are the ones that deliver normally deliver a product from the sea directly to restaurant sector has been absolutely provided by the pandemic not only chile throughout the whole world, salmon agriculture has continue to work more smoothly. What has impacted them is international salmon prices as intuitive and then it has affected the area for first round. And hotels, the same happen throughout the world. So they they don’t have to provide a more salmon because the prices are very, very low. And on the other side, I believe that the great challenge challenge that we have in these these industries is to generate a greater added value from the small scale seafood and fisheries. I think, not one of the things that we have to carry out. I’m absolutely confident that as soon as the small scale fishermen manage, manage to get directly with their products to the best restaurant abroad, then we would have taken an important step in this kind of industries. And this is the there is the challenge today. I think the regulation must go looking that a deficient in agriculture industry, as well as many other are very healthy and attractive industries to invest in. We have For investment tools, and in the agricultural industry, there are many foreign investors, mainly because we have an investment instrument that provides securities to investors. The other key point is that Chile has a quite advanced regulation that allow the sustainable work, inefficient unemployment and in the agricultural areas, it both aspect makes these industries very attractive to invest. I don’t think that we have outcomes in investing abroad from companies in Chile. I see an expansion of the commerce of Chile more.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 24:44
regarding the investments in the tech industry today. I would recommend the investors to look for the core force startup Chile programs and also the Santiago Smart Cities program which has Even though in this pandemic situation we’re living there are facing having good programs to to protect the promotion of investment in this series. So, these tools are well and worldly renowned regarding the promotion for for investment, and I will totally I would totally recommend for anybody looking forward to invest not only today but also in Latin America to start with, we have started today and start with Se Sentiago to move forward into other countries such as Colombia, Peru, so I would definitely recommend them to look into and start the Chile corpus programs in Se Santiago.
Jonathan Bench 26:01
We’d like to go beyond your areas of expertise for a minute as well. Mario, could we start with you What are some sectors you see is worth keeping an eye on for international companies that are looking to chile?
Mario Tapia Echeverría 26:14
well, different sector or industry that we should be looking at. I would definitely say that we have to keep an eye on environmental regulation. environmental legislation in today has been developed for production industry quite a lot. We understood Chilean citizens A number of years ago that the new year of environmental and particularly today, June 5, which is we celebrate the international environmental play, and I will celebrate with with a great slogan to reduce carbon emission in the world. The importance of this inefficient and inequality on the earth. aquaculture industry is very clear to the standard, we have a clean activity environmentmentally friendly and sustainable sawmill for production and fishing process for the future, we will be delivering products that we have our worldwide recognition for data consumption. So it’s very, very clear the effort that we have to do in this regulation in this area and take into consideration also that the world population is increasingly seeking a healthier diet that will cause less harm to environmental environment in which we live. And it seems to us that Chile has made a great efforts together aim.
Jonathan Bench 27:42
And Juan, What do you think we should keep an eye on when we’re looking at today?
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 27:45
One of the most most important things to understand about technologies is that technologies are not an end by itself. They’re tools for different industries to be more efficient, to be more productive. To create new business models. So, one of the one of the things I would recommend definitely is to look into how how the agricultural industries are needing for for more investment in in the use of technologies to be more productive this in this times and also definitely how the use of technologies can help the mining the mining industries, which requires a constant and permanent investment in, in, in innovation and research and innovation investigation to be more productive and efficient. So I definitely would wanting to agricultural and the mining industries right now.
Fred Rocafort 29:03
Looking ahead to the future, let’s say 10 years from now, maybe a little bit beyond that. I’d like to ask the two of you Where do you see Chile and South America more generally, for for some time now, I think many of us have have looked at Chile as something of an exception, rather than the rule when it comes to economic development in South America. But I wonder if perhaps over the next decade, going into the one after that, we might start to see other countries looking more like like Chile and less like the like the stereotype we have of Latin America. Obviously, this is going to be or if they work to happen we, we would still have something of an unequal landscape with with some economies still stuck in the low income range. But at the same time looking with having the continent look a little bit more like Asia, where you have some highly developed economies, some that are somewhere in the middle of the path and some that are that are still in, you know, in the very much into the developing stage. So, I’d like to hear your thoughts about how optimistic or not are you about the future of the region, and of course, Chile in particular,
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 30:45
I’m very optimistic about what the following years will will bring us both into the region, mainly because I believe the world the The coronavirus pandemic forced us to do is to reinvent our economies to reinvent how we have to deal in a world in which we have to, to continue moving forward, changing the social codes. We were used to function and to and to work with. And mainly that it forced us to change the understanding of how social relationships work, as in a society. So we’re facing we’re facing challenges in which we have to do business without seeing each other’s physically without giving our hands without having coffee to get get into more depth. In our conversations or negotiations and we have to face challenges in which we have to take care of, of citizens that do do not have the tools in some situations to, to make a living, to work out to do things. So that the main thing that first is the dependent pandemic situation is that if undoubtably, it will make us rethink on how we do business on how we do social relationships on how we do political and public agenda for the best development of society, we have an opportunity to reinvent How how relationships at all label must be done for a future. So, I believe that brings an unique opportunity to reshift on how we can do we can create strategies for for more participation in the social wealth and in the social development and the social strategy decision making for the for the whole society. That said, it will force to new kinds of relationships between countries it will force into new kinds of relationships between industries. I am not one of those who thinks that the markets will will close some will be more focused Just into the internal consumption of goods, I believe that nevertheless we have some complicated situations, the open markets in an open worldwide business community is the answer for doing business for economical growth for the for the countries. And I believe that that that is what the political agenda is, has not moved in in any way here in the in the region. It’s very interesting to see a in the tech in the tech area to see the development of Colombia of Peru. countries that are following steps of all things that we have done prior to the shooting today. I believe the And I believe that that in all situations will, we’ll be facing a more a more strong region we will facing more inter inter inter market opportunities for development. So I’m very, very, very optimistic that that, that our political authorities that businessmen will will will take the opportunities awfully shifting the the business model the social model, to to face the different challenges that we’ll have to do the next two years.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 35:49
Well, from my side is some it’s a hard question for it on how you said that I must agree with with them with What do I have a dresser recently. And let me let me focus more in Chile other than the continent, the South American continent. I would like to see Chile more likely to be in a similar position to an Asian country. South America send content with countries that have many economy and cultural gaps, while tremendously reaching natural resources, and they have other problems rather than political and social order, which prevents them from moving forward in areas necessary for the stabilization of countries like education, health, work, infrastructure race, the poor to two has managed to move faster perhaps the need to open itself to the world and other markets, done in tournament marketing the continent and put Chile in a different position. It seems to me that at some point we understood the need to provide Certain assurances for the development of productive activities and having solid pillars for these. That is why we have a strong investment instrument, clearly or employment prediction studies, tax systems compatible with other markets, I mean double taxation agreements or treaties and investment prediction agreements with other countries with Asia, particularly China for example. And but we have a talent, we have our big, big talent, we should not forget that we live in a neighborhood where in various difficulties of, of our neighbors can affect us in such as the case with immigration, for example, very strong trend in recent years, and where our country has to adopt many changes in its immigration policies. So in my opinion, this is a very challenging situation. We we focus too internally to our, to our continent, or we open to the world. I think the answer is opening to the world. But we have to be very careful of living in a continent with huge problems to our neighborhoods.
Jonathan Bench 38:20
We’d love to talk for a minute about China, China’s Chile’s largest import and export trading partner. Mario, could you talk a little bit about what China how Chinese businesses are involved, you know, either as buyers or sellers within today and I’m especially interested in learning a little bit about the fishing in an aquaculture territories as well because I know those are near and dear to China’s heart to be involved in all things seafood.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 38:52
Right? Yes, we have a lot of trade with China. The trade retainer has been increase during probably the last 20 or 30 years. I remember the decade of the 90s here in chile with President Frei at the time and he increased a tremendous trade with China’s at the time, the time at that time to open to the rest of the world politically commercially with without increasing the truism etc. In China, in in my areas of expertise in efficient and in the agriculture area and is far away from us. They have a lot of years of experience in the started with the agriculture activities. years years ago. They have a lot of fishing activities, probably is one of the town’s Countries with more explanation of the policy with efficient resources and and the the we call our activities and trims for example, different products that they provide and our interior you can find sure dreams from China in our country. So, we have a lot of in trade with them and the common industry provides a lot of solutions to China and huge clients comes from China and then in other in other sector in the in the I know that this would like to you Fred, the Wise sector and is tremendous. It has been tremendously increased during the last years. We have a lot of trade of the main been yours cheering today. And the position that they have in turn is huge. So I Your thing that China is an important partner for Chile, an important trade partner for Chile. We have to increase that economic activities. And we have tools that predict and allows us to increase the trade, like the apiece the agreements of prediction investment. So I don’t know I think we have a kind of feel still challenge led us to increase our trade.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 41:32
I believe that one of the things that are very interesting about China or how we will how we will continue tightening our relationships with them is the new civil code that they’re that it’s in discussion, that will definitely make some shifting on how the on how their legal the legal system reflects the more participation of of privates in their economies and to the relationships to other countries economies. So I believe that that’s a very good, very good move from from from China. And that it will it will help help in enabling new kinds of relationships and to enter into new new business models to develop with new partners that can have worldwide
Fred Rocafort 42:33
Juan, Mario, this has been a fascinating conversation. I have really enjoyed listening to your perspectives about not only what’s happening in Chile, but about prospects for the for the for the entire region. Before we we say goodbye, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the two of you about what you are reading or listening or These days one of the things we we like to do on the podcast is help our listeners get not only not only content through the podcast itself but also help them tune in to to other interesting materials who perhaps one and then Mario and Jonathan you as well. Please please share with us what what, what you are finding interesting these days.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 43:29
Yeah, I will recommend a book from from Roberto Cahmi with one of the tech intrapreneurs from chile it’s called Piensa al revés, think the other way around, or something like that. It’s very interesting because Roberto is he was the founder of an app called map city here in chile. On here’s one of the the Successful cases of intrapreneurs, who did a good exit of his company, And well, this book is very interesting because he, he’s making this statement and, and calling and calling for, for people doing business in the tech industry to change the way they understand and they see how business are made up. And I believe that’s about to start thinking the other way around. So like to dramatically change the way you were looking business and doing business and understand that we’re facing, facing a new world A new situation, which makes a lot of sense nowadays. I believe that that is one of the challenges that the biggest talent is to run in the tech industries because One One of the problems we were facing was that we were getting really just to do things the same way through years and years and years. And now we will have to start getting more re noted to start thinking out of the box, and not only for the ones doing business, but also that’s a talent for us as lawyer even done, counsel will have to face their, their their own, their own business and this new scenario. So that’s my recommendation upper to Canada, PSL drivers book, which is in Amazon, suddenly all in Spanish, but you can take it as an opportunity to practice your, your Spanish as well.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 45:47
When you live in time, not normal times in time of crisis. That the one where we lives we did last year and the one that we’re doing now with the pandemic One usually look for some answers. And then we like to investigate and look at some researches according to the issues that are racing in our country, but I like to see cnn articles TV programs in in connection with with it, and they make the connection with the social parties, etc. So that is basically what I what I’m doing in this unnormal times.
But let me let me suggest two readings that I think are interesting for these unnormal times. And the first one is some, there’s some interesting research and that helps you begin to understand the social problem in Chile. And that is called inequality research from the program of the united nation for development in Hispanics. It is called Desiguales. Orígenes, cambios y desafíos de la brecha social en Chile.This is very interesting. Research is a very, very interesting work and will probably provide you a look at the problem chillar far from this time, from any from any many, many years ago. And the other reading that I will, I will like, highly recommend you.It’s a novel. It’s always interesting to read novels, but looking at what is happening in the us right now. I was reading at that time. The plot against America is a novel of Philip Roth and it’s interesting And to see the similarities that the problem in the US is living now with what Phil Roth addresses in that book, even though it’s a bestseller, it’s very interesting. There are some connectors that may helps you to understand the problem the US.
Jonathan Bench 48:20
on my end, I’ve been keeping tabs with things going on in Hong Kong. And so I recommend this South China Morning Post article on reporting on the Tiananmen vigil 31 years since the Tiananmen massacre. And a lot of people gathered it says several thousand people gathered in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on peaceful candlelight protests, to commemorate the the deaths of those people who were protesting in 1989. And I think as I’m reading that as an interesting backdrop to the current social unrest in the US, as we’ve discussed in Chile, as well as This is what people do when when they’re dissatisfied with the government and they, and they don’t know what else to do, right. I mean, one thing is to show solidarity together. So I was interested that, you know, even with the backdrop of Coronavirus, the police did not disperse this peaceful crowd, even though it was not authorized by the police. And so, and this was also in the backdrop of the Hong Kong legislature passing a law criminalizing disrespect for Chinese national anthem. So I don’t know if I consider this progress or just a low in what’s happening in Hong Kong, but it’s written I discussed we both live there and so very interested in in what is happening there and, and how that impacts the way I think about what’s going on in my, my nation as well as others around the world. Fred, what do you recommend for us?
Fred Rocafort 49:51
Sure, my recommendation has,it’s also a novel so so in that sense, I am I echoing What Mario said about how the usefulness of novels sometimes in helping understand helping us understand what’s going on, and at the same time, it also has a connection to what Jonathan just mentioned. And by the way I am shortly after I moved to Hong Kong in 2007. I actually attended the the annual vigil in memory of the of the victims of Tiananmen. And it was a very, very emotional experience, right. And there was something very, very special, I thought, at the moment about being able to, to manifest ourselves and I’m including myself in the group at that point, in that way and looking back right from where we are now, to that moment in time. It’s it is just striking. To see how how things have changed. So my recommendation is is a classic it’s 1984 by my Orwell I I read it when I was a, I forget when but you know, certainly when I was in high school or maybe even, yeah, let’s let’s just say High School. And as often happens, you know, you forget about a lot of the content and you begin to appreciate it differently. I found myself thinking a lot about the book. So I decided it was it was time to reread it. And it’s, it’s been a, an amazing experience so far, there is so much there. There are such a wealth of reflection, there are so many phrases that really resonate. Part of that has to do with what I am seeing happening in China and of course, Hong Kong Well, some of some of the things you when we look at the the response of the authorities in China and Hong Kong, sometimes I feel that the only way to really understand or begin to get a handle on what’s happening is really to, to to look at that reality which which I think 1984 captures very well. I also find some relevance to some of the things that are happening here in the US as well. We’re dealing with a very complex relation, sorry, a very complex situation with many different strands. But one of the things that that I see in the country that sometimes troubles me is as as someone who is a very strong advocate of free speech, I’m always very concerned with anything that begins to resemble censorship or pressure to conform to particular ways of thinking in particular ways of Speaking in particular, so looking at it from that angle, it’s giving me a whole new perspective on on, on the book. So, you know, I’m sure a lot of our readers will have read it at some point. But if you are like me, and you haven’t, and it’s been, you know, 30-25 years since you since you read it, highly recommend that you go back and take another look. And fortunately, you know, going back to the issues with IP, if enough time has passed now that there are copies in the, in the, you know, it’s in the public domain, at least in some countries, so it’s not difficult to find a free version online. So again, 1984. And with that, I would like to, once again, thank Mario and Juan for for being on the podcast. Really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. And we hope to have you both as guests, once again, in the future, there is a lot that we can that we can look at, hopefully, hopefully in a few months or a year we can look back and and look at, look back at this interview from from a better place both both here in the US and Chile and worldwide, really. So once again, thank you.
Juan Cristóbal Palma Orellana 54:29
Thank you for the invitation. It’s been a pleasure.
Mario Tapia Echeverría 54:32
Yeah, thank you very much. Ah, it’s been a pleasure to share time with you to speak about a little bit of what we have here in today. And I will let me say that I will take the recommendation to reread books, I think it’s it’s very good to take some times and then I’m going to reread a book with our point of view. Through the years gives you the experience to understand different positions in the books in the knowledge especially thank you for the invitation on it’s going to be a pleasure to participate again in our in another one in the future.
Jonathan Bench 55:14
Thank you both.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue to discuss developments in global law and business. and tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then
Transcribed by https://otter.ai