Brazil seeks foreign capital to update transportation
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brazil says it will seek to raise at least $45 billion in investments over the next four years for an ambitious plan to improve transportation in South America’s biggest nation.
Infrastructure minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas said Thursday in Washington that he will be outlining details of the proposal in meetings with the Inter-American Development Bank and with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The government’s plan calls for auctions of concessions in all areas of transportation, including 44 airports, 24 seaports, 16,000 kilometers (9,900 miles) of highways and 8,700 kilometers (5,400 miles) of train lines.
The push started earlier this year with auctions involving 12 airports, 10 ports and a major rail line, which brought in $3.5 billion, split evenly between grants and investment in the facilities.
Gomes said Brazil needs investment from the private sector because its infrastructure is outdated.
Gilberto Braga, a Brazilian financial analyst and professor at the private IBMEC university, the project could be an important development for improving the country’s transportation sector, but he cautioned that at this point it is still just a plan.
“It’s hard to know if the goal will be reached” in raising $45 billion, he said.
Braga predicted that railways will be the most attractive to outside investors, saying it is a sector in which Brazil lacks technology. He said Brazil already has a lot of concessions for ports and roads.
Associated Press writer Marcelo de Sousa in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.
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