One might even say that Chile has become a nation of shopkeepersa phrase once derisively used by foreign observers to describe the British. Throughout the 1990's, and today, under the current administration of "socialist" Ricardo Lagos, Chile has furiously been attempting to secure free trade agreements with every country it can from New Zealand to South Korea to the United States. Free trade, low debt, low taxes, and relatively laissez-faire economics are at the heart of the ongoing economic expansion in Chile. Long a practical and trade-minded people, the Chileans are now enjoying the fastest growing economy in Latin America, and are considered an increasingly good investment choice by the world financial community. And, as some have said, it is well on its way to becoming a first-world nation.