Argentinean president unveils US$ 21.5 billion construction boost for economy

By Richard High27 November 2008

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has announced an ARS 71 billion (US$ 21.5 billion) plan to create jobs and boost the country's economy.

The plan aims to more than double the number of jobs in the construction sector from 362000 to 770000 through a public works programme that will be launched in December.

Speaking at a meeting of business leaders in the capital Buenos Aires, President Kirchner said, "The exceptional period we're going through requires exceptional solutions."

Planning Minister Julio de Vido said the US$ 21.5 billion would be spent over a three-to-five year period, according to the La Nacion newspaper.

President Kirchner has already launched measures to encourage the return of capital investments and the creation of new jobs alongside the creation of a new ministry of production.

The president also said she would ask congress to impose an 8% tax on investments held abroad, while giving tax breaks to those who bring their overseas investments back to Argentina.

Although no precise details were given, President Kirchner also indicated that individuals and companies investing in infrastructure, ranching or real estate will only have to pay from 1 to 6% tax, depending on the investment.

Argentineans currently pay a 1.5% tax on personal assets exceeding ARS 300000 (US$ 0.9 million), including declared money invested abroad.

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