Brazil announced a US$64bil (RM240bil) infrastructure spending package on Tuesday, hoping to revive its flagging economy with investment in highways, railroads, ports and airports.
With the world’s seventh-largest economy facing its worst performance in 25 years – the government forecasts a contraction of 1.2% in 2015 – embattled President Dilma Rousseff is keen to reboot growth.
Increasing investment in the Latin American giant’s overburdened infrastructure is something businesses and economic analysts have been urging the government to do for years.
“The time has come to build the basis for a new cycle of development and growth for the country,” Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa told journalists.
“Increasing the rate of investment in Brazil is fundamental.”
The government said more than one-third of the new spending, 69.2 billion reals (US$22.3bil/RM83.6bil), would come by the end of 2018, with the remaining 129.2 billion reals laid out starting in 2019.
The government said it would also launch a series of measures to boost exports in tandem with the new spending.
But it remains to be seen if the government will find bidders for the vast array of new projects, which include 86.4 billion reals for railroads, 66.1 billion reals for highways, 37.4 billion reals for ports and 8.5 billion reals for airports.
A similar program launched in 2012 for more than 200 billion reals only yielded deals to build one-fourth of the projects tendered, according to Brazilian newspaper Globo. – AFP