President Dilma Rousseff is reported to have finalised the long-awaited “ports package”, the government’s next big investment program to upgrade the country’s overstretched infrastructure, improving ports and how they are managed to increase competitiveness.
Details of the investment plan will be presented by the president on November 19th, after her official trip to Spain.
According to a report by Valor, sources close to the president say the package will include “ambitious” investment of R$40 billion (around US$20 billion), and be “light” on regulatory amendments,
The majority of the funds are expected to come from the private sector and, in an apparent policy U-turn, new privately-run terminals will be authorized.
A major management reshuffle is expected for companies running Brazil’s eighteen public ports, although President Rousseff has rejected a national port authority, akin to the now-defunct Portobrás.
Not not only does it take longer in Brazil but, according to a study by development center Fundação Dom Cabral, it also costs more: exporting a container in Brazil costs US$1,790 – seventy percent more than in the U.S. (U$1,050) and three times the cost in Singapore (US$456). The cost of pilotage in Brazilian ports is also high, costing 2.4 times the international average.
The first terminals to undergo concession are expected to be those in Manaus, Amazonas and Ilhéus, Bahia, and then in Espírito Santo and Santa Catarina states, as well as in Itaguaí in Rio State.
The semi-privatisation concession scheme has already been undertaken for the country’s roads, railways and airports – in theory providing a much-needed R$133bn boost to the country’s ailing infrastructure.
Read the full article on The Rio Times website.