Chile’s incoming finance minister pledges 3.5 pct economic growth in 2018

Felipe Larrain will assume as finance minister in March as part of conservative President-elect Sebastian Piñera's cabinet.

SANTIAGO – Chile’s economy is likely to grow by 3.5% this year on the back of increased confidence in a new presidential administration and in improving global economy, the future finance minister told a local newspaper on Sunday.

Felipe Larrain, who will assume the role in March as part of conservative President-elect Sebastian Piñera’s cabinet, told La Tercera that the economy could grow at a faster rate than the 1.8% average during socialist President Michelle Bachelet’s term.

“We can recover growth of around 3.5% annually. That is higher than the range currently expected for 2018,” said Larrain, who served in the same role during Piñera’s previous term from 2010-14. “We are not setting a higher target because that would assume a scenario in which everything goes well.”

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Larrain added that he would work to reverse cuts to the copper-producing country’s sovereign credit rating that took place under Bachelet’s administration.–MercoPress