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Guatemala: $9 billion for infrastructure

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


 

Guatemala will promote infrastructure investment by public-private partnerships of close to $9 billion over the four-year term of the Jimmy Morales administration, which started last January, Economy Minister Rubén Morales said last month.

Financing for projects, which include expansion and rehabilitation of major national highways, as well as the modernization of the La Aurora airport in Guatemala City, is expected to come mainly from the private sector, while the state contributes land and manages administrative issues, such as permitting and expropriations.

Renovation of La Aurora, Guatemala’s main international airport, is urgent, given concerns that it could lose the right to add flights entering the country, if the International Civil Aviation Organization downgrades its status.

The plan also calls for port development, expanded power generation, and oil and natural gas exploitation.

Foreign direct investment last year was $1.2 billion, the lowest figure of the past three years, as Guatemala was affected by corruption scandals, which led to the resignation of President Oscar Perez, among other senior government officials.

The Morales government hopes for a fresh start for an economy, which is projected to grow by 4.2% this year, compared to 1.7% for Latin America as a whole.