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MAY 9, 2019

President Piñera highlights the strength of the Chilean economy: "Investment and productivity have become an engine stimulating growth"

In the annual breakfast marking Chilean Chamber of Construction (CChC) week, the President emphasized the importance of the construction industry to Chile’s development and anticipated that, in the present year, public investment in infrastructure will rise by 26% to reach US$ 4 billion.

President Sebastián Piñera highlighted on Thursday the strength of Chile’s economy and investment this current year and renewed the government's commitment to facilitate infrastructure projects and improve productivity.

"Where investment and productivity had become a burden that was holding back growth, they are now an engine that is driving growth," said the President at the meeting. He also forecast an increase of 6% in investment and 3.5% in economic growth in 2019.

Speaking to representatives from the construction industry, one of the engines that drive Chile’s economy, the President stressed the importance of job creation, which totaled 164,000 new formal jobs in the last year.

He also highlighted the entry into service of National Productivity and Entrepreneurship Office (OPEN) and the Sustainable Projects Management of (GPS), whose role is to facilitate more investments and generate more jobs.

President Piñera stressed that this year the government is carrying out a set of public infrastructure projects that will generate opportunities and boost the country's growth by more than US$ 4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26%.

"Infrastructure is a fundamental element for making Chile more united and more connected and for creating equal opportunities," said the President, who was accompanied by Economy Minister José Ramón Valente, Public Works Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine, and Housing and Urban Planning Minister Cristián Monckeberg.

Furthermore, he noted that there are concessionary projects for infrastructure works totaling more than US$ 14 billion for the 2019-2023 period, which include highways, airports, hospitals, reservoirs and public works, among others, and that will involve annual investments of around US$ 2,8 billion, three times more than the average for the decade.

In his speech, President Piñera also pointed out that the Government has requested the National Productivity Commission to identify the main barriers to growth and increase productivity for the construction industry in order to propose concrete measures to improve its performance.

Construction accounts for around 7% of Chile's total GDP, providing more than 700,000 jobs, and representing approximately 65% of the country's total investment.