BUENOS AIRES, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's President Mauricio Macri on Wednesday unveiled a plan to boost the automotive industry and generate jobs with a target goal of manufacturing one million cars a year by 2030.
Macri signed the "strategic agreement" with the different sectors of the automotive industry at a ceremony at the presidential headquarters.
"Today is a very special and historic day for the industry," said Macri, adding the so-called One Million Plan "has two fundamental goals ... to produce a million automobiles and to not only take care of the industry, but to make it grow with more than 30,000 jobs."
The plan calls for investing 5 billion U.S. dollars in the industry over the next two years to reach an output of 750,000 units by 2019, and doubling today's manufacturing capacity by 2023.
At least 35 percent of output is to be exported to countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc, which gathers Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela (currently suspended), as well as Argentina.
Macri touted the plan as "the second great agreement" of his administration, following an agreement with all segments of the energy industry to develop shale in the country's Vaca Muerta region in south-central Nequen province.
Last year, Argentina manufactured 472,776 vehicles, a 10.2-percent drop compared to 2015, according to the Association of Automotive Plants (ADEFA), which blamed lower demand from neighboring Brazil, Argentina's main trade partner.
Argentina's Ministry of Production said the agreement calls for "a series of governmental measures designed to spur the industry," including scrapping taxes on industrial exports, a five-year import-export accord with Brazil that provides the industry with a degree of predictability, and seeking new export markets to compensate for Brazil's lower demand.
The national automotive industry today provides more than 70,000 direct and 150,000 indirect jobs.