LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s government announced on Tuesday the launch of more than 30 public-private projects worth nearly $9 billion, hoping to revive the economy hit by violent anti-government protests.
The projects, involving road infrastructure, energy and sanitation, are set to begin between this year and 2024, according to the head of the state’s agency for investment promotion Jose Salardi, speaking at an event with investors.
“The key is to regain confidence,” Salardi said, adding the government is simplifying processes, standardizing contracts and coordinating with the private sector.
Anti-government protests have gripped the country since the Dec. 7 ouster of Former President Pedro Castillo, with clashes between demonstrators and security forces leaving dozens dead.
Private investment in Peru fell 0.5% last year, while it posted a 37.4% growth in 2021, according to economy ministry data.
In the same conference with investors, Economy Minister Alex Contreras stated protests affected the economy of the world’s second largest copper producer in December and January, but early economic indicators are showing a recovery in February.
“The goal is for private investment to increase 3% this year,” Contreras told the conference.
“The need for reactivation is urgent … and it is not easy for an economy to recover from an (attempted) coup,” he added.
Peru’s economic growth stood at 2.68% at the end of 2022, a steep decline from the 13.61% climb recorded the year before.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended Peru earlier in February to implement “targeted, temporary” fiscal stimulus given the slump in economic activity.
Protests in Peru sparked after the ousting of Castillo, with demonstrators asking for President Dina Boluarte’s resignation, the closure of Congress, a new Constitution and early elections.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Sandra Maler)