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Boric Says Chile Is Poised for Economic Comeback on Investment and Jobs

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(Bloomberg) — Chile President Gabriel Boric said the nation’s gross domestic product will grow strongly next year now that the economy has stabilized, laying the groundwork for more investment and jobs.

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The economy has cooled down without harming society’s most vulnerable, and the administration achieved a key public-private partnership to help develop the local lithium industry, Boric said in a year-end speech on Sunday. The government will continue to work for better jobs and salaries, he said.

Read more: Chile’s SQM Reaches Lithium Mining Accord With Codelco

“The country didn’t fall into recession like some people predicted insistently, and next year Chile will grow with strength,” Boric said.

Boric is working to revive growth in one of Latin America’s richest economies at the end of a year marked by high interest rates and uneven demand. The central bank is cutting borrowing costs, while officials woo investment to industries including lithium and green hydrogen. Still, politics are polarized after a failed push to rewrite the constitution, and unemployment is high.

“If in politics we are capable of leaving the trenches, listening to one another and putting the country and its people above all other considerations, then I am sure we can achieve important agreements,” Boric said, calling for advances on his administration’s pension and tax reform proposals.

Finance Minister Mario Marcel has reiterated expectations that GDP will expand by 2.5% in 2024 after remaining flat in 2023. By comparison, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg see Chile’s economy growing 1.9% next year, which would be faster than the regional average.

Boric ended 2023 with 31% approval, according to a Cadem public opinion survey published earlier on Sunday.

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