Brazil’s Vale says it plans to increase investments in 2010 to $12.9bn, a 43% hike over $9bn in 2009.

The decision was made by the iron ore producer following a meeting with Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Vale chief executive Roger Agnelli said.

“It’s the largest investment in Brazil ever carried out by a private company,” Agnelli added.

The total investment, however, is still less than the $14bn initially announced by Vale before the global economic downturn compelled the company to reduce the amount.

The new investment proposal still exhibits low investment of 3% in the steel sector as against 31% for non-ferrous metals, 30% for ferrous metals and 21% for logistics.

Allocation for the remaining 15% has not yet been disclosed.