Accumulated Spanish investment in Chile exceeds $15 billion, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a message to the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the South American country.

The Spanish premier said Friday that an increasing number of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Iberian nation are setting up shop in Chile because the country's "exemplary legal security" makes it attractive "not only to the big multinationals."

Chile also is appealing due to economic woes in Spain, where businesses' access to credit is severely limited after the collapse of a long-building, massive property bubble left banks saddled with non-performing loans.

Unemployment, meanwhile, stands at more than 25 percent in Spain.

Rajoy's message was read during the annual meeting of the Santiago-based business network.

According to Chilean media, Spain has been the country's second-largest foreign investor after the United States since 1974.

The prime minister, who will make an official visit to Chile on Jan. 26, also said Spain offers many possibilities for Chilean companies.

He noted that, despite the Iberian nation's severe economic crisis, Chilean exports to Spain rose by more than 10 percent in the first half of 2012.

That increase occurred even as the South American country's exports to the European Union as a whole fell in that same period by nearly 20 percent, Rajoy said. EFE