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Brazil to invest $64b in infrastructure, airports, economy

Brazil to invest $64b in infrastructure, airports, economy

BRASILIA: Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff announced her government’s plans to spur investment in infrastructure, an effort which could help modernize the country’s roads, bridges, ports and airports as well as kick-start its struggling economy.

The initiative emphasizes the role of private finance in projects like airport renovations, Reuters reported, along with highway and railroad expansions and changes to the port system. The plan also calls for the creation of a new airport services company. A total of 198.4 billion reais ($64 billion) in project funding will be sought.

A prior infrastructure plan in 2012 only attracted a fifth of the 210 billion reais that were pursued. An economist told the Financial Times that many of the projects listed in Rousseff’s Tuesday announcement were proposed in 2012. Rousseff, however, said that in this round, investors would be offered more favorable terms, Reuters reported, and while subsidies by the state development bank BNDES will reportedly be reduced, its role will still be “relevant,” Rousseff said.

As Reuters reports, the World Economic Forum ranks Brazil’s infrastructure 120th out of 144 countries.

While Reuters noted that Rousseff’s announcement comes as she struggles with poor approval ratings due to high inflation, unemployment and a scandal at the state oil firm Petrobras, at least half of the projects would not begin until 2019, after the end of her second term as president.