SANTIAGO – President Michelle Bachelet announced on Thursday a $27 billion infrastructure plan aimed at providing the basis for “strong development” in Chile.
The initiative envisions the expenditure of $18 billion in public funds, with the remaining investment coming from the private sector via build-and-operate concessions.
“The time has come to put on the long pants. We will only achieve strong development if we are capable of investing in infrastructure,” Bachelet said during an event at Santiago International Airport.
“Infrastructure is the material expression of the homeland,” she said, insisting that improved infrastructure will provide “inclusive and sustained growth.”
The figure of $27 billion between now and 2022 translates into 1.7 percent of Chilean gross domestic product annually, the president said.
The public works plan, added to already programmed investments in housing, health and transportation, will boost Chile’s yearly infrastructure spending to 3.5 percent of GDP, she said.
Among the projects included in the plan are highway construction in Chile’s far south and extreme north, the paving of rural roads, the creation of seven large reservoirs and upgrades to ports, Bachelet said.