The Miami Herald
November 5, 1999

Chilean presidential candidates unveil economic plans

 Santiago, Nov 5 --(EFE)-- The two leading Chilean presidential candidates, social
 democrat Ricardo Lagos and opposition rightist Joaquin Lavin, released the
 principal objectives of their economic plans at a seminar attended by more than
 1,000 businessmen.

 Lagos, the candidate for the ruling coalition, called on the business sector to
 forget the past and set aside mistrust to unite and face a new era, while Lavin
 proposed a total restructuring of the government.

 Both proposals were presented at the National Business Encounter (ENADE),
 featuring a closing address by Chilean President Eduardo Frei, which gathered
 together leading Chilean businessmen and economic authorities including
 Finance Minister Eduardo Aninat and Central Bank President Carlos Massad.

 Lagos, leading the polls as the most likely successor to President Frei, outlined
 the progress made by the current ruling coalition and invited the executives to
 create a ``new strategic alliance'' to stimulate national development.

 ``It is indispensable for us to emancipate ourselves from the traumas of the past
 to begin the new millenium with a free and constructive spirit,'' Lagos said.

 Lagos expressed the need for the government to strive for the common good and
 for business to maximize reinvestment of revenues even as he announced his
 government would double the budget allocations for small and medium sized
 business support programs and services.

 Lagos also proposed the creation of an export promotion fund for small and
 medium sized businesses and agreed to propose legislation that would help
 prevent big business from abusing small contractors and providers.

 In response, Lavin criticized the Frei administration and said the nation should
 return to a growth rate of 7 percent per year and create one million new jobs over
 the next six years.

 ``Our program is based on three pillars: a new macroeconomic equilibrium that
 will stimulate export growth, investments and savings; the creation of new
 opportunities for entrepreneurial initiative, and the reengineering of the State,''
 Lavin said.

 Lavin said exports should once again become the engine driving economic
 growth, and said he hoped to double exports over the next six years to reach 30
 billion dollars per year while establishing flexible commercial policies.

 Lavin said increases in fiscal spending should average 5 percent per year, adding
 that his government will center its focus on social problems, instead of ``catering
 to the wealthy.''

 Chile's presidential elections are scheduled for Dec. 12, 1999.