President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to significantly increase infrastructure spending is both heartening and overdue, according to the chief executive of the world's largest cement company, LafargeHolcim.
Trump had vowed throughout his election campaign that he would make infrastructure investments a priority. The New York businessman is set to be inaugurated as President on Friday with LafargeHolcim expecting infrastructure projects could begin in the second half of 2017.
"We've believed for many years the U.S. needs a significant boost in infrastructure, if you look at the status of bridges, roads... core infrastructure in the U.S. needs real investment and we're heartened to see that that's coming," Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim, told CNBC on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland.
"Infrastructure payments typically pays off 2.5 times for what you do. You need to do smart infrastructure investment, you can't just be spending and building things that aren't needed, but the needs of infrastructure and investment in the U.S. are so much that there's a whole long inventory of needed projects that should be ready to go," he added.
France's Lafarge and Swiss peer Holcim merged in 2015 to become the world's biggest cement maker.