MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez announced on Monday a plan for $12.37 billion in infrastructure investment over the next four years.
Two-thirds of the investment will come from the government, Vazquez told a news conference.
The president said $4.33 billion will be earmarked for the energy sector, $2.36 billion for roads, $1.87 billion for social infrastructure and $1.32 billion for housing.
Smaller amounts will go toward upgrading communications, water and sewers, ports and railroads.
These investments “will help to optimize Uruguay’s productive capacity, will allow us to advance in the strategic project for the country to become a logistics hub for the region,” Vazquez said.
Though he did not offer a figure for the number of jobs that could potentially be created by the effort, the president said the investment is vital to keep Uruguay’s economy growing.
The plan will not require tax increases, Vazquez said, while Economy Minister Danilo Astori discounted any risk that the additional spending would spur inflation.
Asked whether the government would seek loans from international institutions to fund the program, the minister said that “indebtedness is not the basis of this plan.”
The planned $12.37 billion in spending is equivalent to 21.5 percent of Uruguay’s gross domestic product in 2014.