The newly appointed head of Peru’s private investment promotion agency plans to quickly auction off US$34 billion of proposed projects to revive investment in the South American country and boost lagging rural areas.
Alvaro Quijandria was appointed to Proinversion in mid-November and announced his auction plan to Reuters on the sidelines of a business summit in Paracas last week.
Investment in Peru has declined due to weak external economic conditions and slow execution of infrastructure projects at the local level, according to the World Bank.
The first likely projects up for offer include a cross-Andean highway and a railway to link two Andean towns.
“From the portfolio of projects, 44 are state initiatives and 63 are from the private sector which we’ll improve and help untangle from permits so they can happen faster,” Quijandria told Reuters.
He said the contracts would be designed as private-public partnerships.
He would not be drawn on a possible auction of the natural gas pipeline project, if the government terminates Brazilian company Odebrecht SA’s current concession, which has been stuck for financing the project for more than a year.
Peru has been one of the region’s fastest growing economies over the past decade, the World Bank notes, and extreme poverty rates have fallen. It said in September Peru’s growth was projected to approach 4% in 2017 on the back of a recovery of investment, driven by the implementation of several large public infrastructure projects.
However, it said a large share of the population remained vulnerable to shocks and could fall back into poverty.
Peru’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected mid-year on promises of job creation and reducing economic disparity.