With a total land area slightly larger than the continental United States, vast mineral and energy resources under development, a gross domestic product ranking 9th in the world (CIA World Factbook) and a real growth rate of 7.5 percent, Brazil rapidly is becoming a world economic power.
However, Brazil’s transportation, sanitation and energy infrastructures, in particular, are challenged to keep pace with the nation’s development. When Brazil was chosen to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the urgency to build or upgrade airports, railways, roadways and transit systems increased significantly.
“The massive effort and demands on adequate infrastructure that will take place for the World Cup and the Olympic Games are going to be of historical magnitude,” said Alfredo Castrejón, Bentley Systems Inc. territory vice president of Latin America.
“The creation of this infrastructure has two main challenges: 1) to serve its purpose during the actual events, and 2) to serve as infrastructure for the Brazilian communities around the country in the aftermath. This forward-thinking line into the future is critical to ensure an adequate return on investment for these assets.”
According to the Brazilian development bank, BNDES, investments in urban transport projects in the 12 World Cup host cities alone will total $6.8 billion, including bus rapid transit, light rail, subways and other systems.
During the next three years — 2011 through 2014 — total infrastructure investment in Brazil is expected to increase almost 54 percent to $217 billion, compared with the 2006-2009 period, according to BNDES. In particular, expenditures on ports, railroads, roads and sanitation will experience the greatest growth rates. The core infrastructure growth drivers are resulting in good opportunities for engineering firms and suppliers in several infrastructure segments.
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