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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Brazil’s $65bn infrastructure push to include $12bn port upgrades

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has announced a wide-ranging $65 billion infrastructure package that will include almost $12 billion in port construction and upgrades.

The ambitious plans were announced as part of a push by the government to “revive economic growth” as the country’s economy has flat-lined and foreign investment has been weaker than expected following several high level corruption scandals.

“This initiative reflects the partnership and the confidence that must be established and which must be unflagging between the government and the private sector,” Rousseff said.

Around $21 billion of the funding will be used to develop roads connecting to key ports, a further $28 billion will be spent on railways and $3 billion on airports, according the Financial Times, with around $12 billion to be invested in port upgrades.

“Our main concern [is] whether the government will be fast enough in approving projects or doing bids at the right time, because there is no lack of money in Brazil, there are many people, they do want to invest and APM Brazil is one of them,” Ricardo Arten, head of APM Terminals in Brazil commented.

Slowing demand growth in the port sector coupled with the consolidation of shipping lines around hub ports has meant that many of Brazil’s ports now must either invest in expansion now or face becoming side-lined, according to industry insiders.

 “Over the last decade, we have witnessed an increase in the size of container ships at an unprecedented pace, in pursuit of competitiveness derived from economies of scale,” Luiz Henrique Carneiro, president of Multiterminais Container said.

“While Brazil has huge potential demand, particularly for agribusiness exports, a lack of infrastructure planning has left many ports ill equipped to act as intermodal hubs.”


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