THE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN, AN EXAMPLE OF PRODUCTIVE AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION FOR THE FUTURE
In 2015, investment in infrastructure was established as a priority to ensure the sustainability of growth and productivity levels in the Uruguayan economy.
In 2015 the National Government established as a priority investment in infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of growth and productivity levels of the Uruguayan economy. To meet this objective, the National Infrastructure Plan was launched, which represented a line of work for the development and attraction of investments in specific areas, for an amount exceeding USD 12 billion in the five-year period.
This plan would enable Uruguay to strengthen its development and competitiveness conditions from the social and logistic point of view, making possible the development of projects throughout the national territory, generating employment and local growth opportunities, and improving productivity conditions.
The plan, the most ambitious in the country's history, included specific lines of work in different areas with strategic value for development: renewable energies, roads, social infrastructure, telecommunications, sanitation and drinking water, ports and railway lines.
In order to achieve this objective, it enabled different financing modalities. In particular, it was established that one third of the estimated total would be carried out through the Public-Private Participation (PPP) modality, and the rest would be materialized through direct financing (from the Stadium itself or through multilateral support) or other modalities.
Uruguay XXI was the agency responsible for the international promotion of the opportunities proposed in the plan, and endorsed by the excellent conditions offered by the country to international companies, which aspire to conditions of economic and legal stability, reliability, and a specific regime that promotes and encourages investment.
The value proposal and the National Plan were presented in prestigious specialized forums in Europe, Latin America and Asia, in the same way that a significant number of investors interested in deepening the proposal were received.
By means of planning, legal incentives and the reliability that characterizes the country, Uruguay was able to implement some of the most important infrastructure transformations of the last decades, such as the reactivation of the Central Railway, a project carried out through PPP, and developed by the partner Grupo Vía Central, made up of national and international companies. This investment exceeds 800 million dollars and is added to the recovery of several sections of the railway network, such as Rivera-Pintado and Fray Bentos-Algorta.
The improvement in infrastructure would allow Uruguay to attract more and better productive investments, and this is what happened, with the most important investment in its history with the second cellulose plant of the company UPM. With it, the interest and progress in road, port and railway matters increased, as foreseen in the National Plan.
Particularly in road matters, given that Uruguay reaches 2020 exceeding the planned goal, with more than USD 2.3 billion invested in the recovery of national routes.
Furthermore, investments in renewable energies placed the country at the forefront in the region. Today, Uruguay has a generation capacity of 97% of the total electric energy generated through renewable sources.
But investments in infrastructure do not only respond to logistic needs, they also meet social needs for development and that is why the National Infrastructure Plan provided for important investments in social matters.
More than USD 1.8 billion would be allocated to the construction and refurbishment of Early Childhood Centers, Educational Centers, Improvement of Hospital infrastructure and Prisons.
Over the next 24 months, 59 educational centers, 44 kindergartens and 15 CAIF centers will be built thanks to the signing of the first public-private participation contract signed on September 6 by various government institutions. The work will be carried out in 14 departments and will cost some 68 million dollars.
In the area of prisons, the Punta de Rieles Penitentiary Unit was built and is in operation, a model establishment that contributes to the improvement of prison conditions in order to better reintegrate the prison population.
The planning envisaged by the national government established an extended investment schedule until 2022. The National Infrastructure Plan continues to be implemented, and its national and regional impacts strengthen the development capacities of communities, generate opportunities through projects that take advantage of the infrastructure built, and thus make it possible to improve the quality of life of Uruguayans.