Chilean President Sebastian Pinera (C) delivers a speech during an annual state of the nation address in Valparaiso, Chile, June 1, 2018. Chile "wants, can and will be a developed country," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said during an annual state of the nation address on Friday. (Xinhua/Chilean Presidential Office)
SANTIAGO, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Chile "wants, can and will be a developed country," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said during an annual state of the nation address on Friday.
In a speech delivered to congress in Valparaiso, Pinera said "the time has come to take a great leap forward to transform Chile ... before the end of the next decade into a developed country, a middle-class (country) with no poverty and with opportunities so that we can all develop our talents."
Pinera, a businessman-turned-politician who won reelection to a second term in December 2017, said his administration has "in the past few months reestablished confidence (in the economy), which is once again moving towards development."
Chile's economy registered 4.6 percent growth in March, according to the president.
Pinera also announced his administration will promote four new measures, including a bill to create a Ministry of Family and Social Development to replace the current Ministry of Social Development in order to "recognize and strengthen the family ... as the essential and irreplaceable nucleus of society."
The second measure will be to create a Middle-Class Protection Net "to generate more opportunities for progress and guarantee greater security in the face of adversity."
The other two measures aim to improve the wellbeing of infants and children in Chile, including by ensuring working mothers have access to nurseries.
On the foreign affairs, Pinera said he wanted to bolster ties with neighboring countries - Argentina and Peru, strengthen the Pacific Alliance trade bloc with fellow members Mexico, Peru and Colombia, and expand "ties with Brazil, Latin America and the rest of the world."
His government will also work to strengthen the existing Free Trade Agreements with China and the European Union.