copper mine chile atacama desert

Chile Plans New Port, Seeks To Boost Innovation

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May 16, 2014

Aerial view of open-pit copper mine in Atacama desert, Chile, image (c) Shutterstock/Nataliya Hora

reuters logoSANTIAGO, May 16 (Reuters) – Chile president Michelle Bachelet said on Friday her center-left government was planning the development of a “big scale” port in the center of the copper-exporting country.

Bachelet also estimated about $1 billion would be allocated to foster innovation in the Andean country over the next four years as she presented a batch of pro-growth plans on Friday.

Previously red-hot economic growth in world No.1 copper producer Chile is slowing on the back of softer investment and domestic demand, creating a headache for the new president.

“We have a major challenge, the challenge of growing at a good rhythm while at the same time increasing our productivity, being more competitive, diversifying our economy and becoming less vulnerable to global volatility,” she said.

Many economists have long warned that Chile, like many of its Latin American peers, is too dependent on Chinese appetite for commodities and credit-led domestic consumption.

Further details about the port plans were not immediately available. The announcement comes a day after Bachelet said she was planning a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in central-south Chile to help battle an energy squeeze. (Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Editing by James Dalgleish and W Simon)

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