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Labor minister says Chile has overcome high unemployment from 2010 quake (2)

(Xinhua)

09:34, February 23, 2012

The fishery issue is complicated in Chile where even before the 2010 earthquake the industry was suffering because of "a decrease in the fishing which worries us a lot because for a long time there was over-fishing," said Matthei.

Small and medium-sized enterprises that were also affected by the 2010 earthquake, meanwhile, have received help from the state-run Corporation of Industrial Promotion (CORFO).

Matthei is one of the ministers who accompanied Pinera on a work tour to review the reconstruction works in the six affected regions where the president earlier this week handed over 138 new homes.

"The recovery of the employment as well as the recovery of infrastructure including schools, hospitals, homes and public works is an example of how fast this reconstruction of the country has been going on," she said.

Experts from the World Bank told Chilean officials that "even in countries which are more developed than us, after a catastrophe like the one we suffered, the reconstruction works last an average of 10 years," she said.

"In Chile, we will achieve the full reconstruction in a period of four years, this is less than half of the general average -- an incredible achievement," the minister said.

Meanwhile, Matthei said that despite Chile's remarkable record on job creation and the current low unemployment rate of less than 7 percent, the country needs to improve more.

"We want to lower that percentage and we want the workers to have better jobs, better wages and especially the opportunity to improve throughout their lives, and that is why we insist on strengthening their training," said Matthei.

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