SÃO PAULO, Brazil—Plenty of investment money is on the way as growing wealth and urbanization in Brazil are placing unprecedented demands on the nation’s infrastructure.
Indeed, the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industries (ABDIB) says the world’s fifth-most populace country must invest an average of $110 billion per year over the next five years to meet its immense infrastructure needs.
The looming 2014 FIFA World Cup of soccer and the 2016 Olympic Games compounds the problem.
“The need for infrastructure investment in Brazil is very large, that is common knowledge. The key challenge is how to support and deliver efficient and effective infrastructure investment,” said Roberto Paolino, Brazil Public Sector and Financial Institution Head of international bank Citi.
“We need to ensure cities and states are taking full advantage of all the tools available to them, including public-private partnerships,” said Paolino, who was was speaking at FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards Infrastructure Forum in São Paulo.
Miguel Luiz Bucalem, Secretary of Urban Development of the City of São Paulo, agreed.
“The city of São Paulo is one of the most vibrant places to live, anywhere in the world…and in the months and years to come, we look forward to doing even more to make our city as strong, competitive and livable as possible—for our citizens as well as for our businesses.”
The city is well on its way. By 2015, the government of the state of São Paulo is expected to have invested CAN$22.4 billion (45 billion Brazilian reals) to expand and modernize its rail infrastructure.
“Major transformation is required to identify sustainable, comprehensive solutions to advance intelligent infrastructure, connecting and transporting people, energy and information,” said Helio Magalhães, country officer for Citi in Brazil.
With a 2011 GDP of about $2.324 trillion (Canada’s GDP is about $1.4 trillion), Brazil’s economy is a heavyweight amongst South American countries and is driven by large and well-developed agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors.
Brazil was the first emerging economy to exit the 2009 recession.