Brazil Unveils 27 Billion Port Upgrade Plant

Brazil Unveils $27 Billion Port Upgrade Plant

Plan includes improving access by land to the ports, a new regulatory system and an overhaul of the port network administration and incentives for investors.

BRASILIA –In order to upgrade the country's ports and stimulate the country's sluggish economic growth, Brazil on Thursday unveiled a $27 billion concession plan.

President Dilma Rousseff announced the plan -- which calls for $15 billion in investments during the 2014-2015 period and $12 billion during 2016-2017 -- at an event attended by government and corporate leaders.

The program is a call for business leaders "to invest in the modernization and expansion of port capacity in partnership with the state," Rousseff said.

"We will be partners because the government and the business community realize that efficient ports are crucial for the development of our country," she added.

The plan includes a $1.3 billion investment in improving access by land to the ports, a new regulatory system, an overhaul of the port network administration and incentives for investors.

The main goal is to speed up the movement of goods through the ports while lowering costs, said Leonidas Cristino, the official in charge of managing the network of ports.

Brazil, the world's sixth largest economy and host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio summer Olympics, has 8,500 kilometers (5,200 miles) of waterways and a network of 37 ports, including three under private concession.

In August, the government launched a similar investment plan worth $60 billion for roads and railways.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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