BRASILIA – President Michel Temer announced a series of measures Wednesday to encourage domestic and foreign investment in Brazil’s ports as his administration prepares for a new round of bidding on projects.
“We are modernizing all areas of government,” Temer said during the signing of an executive order expanding the term of port concessions from 25 years to 35 years.
The port industry is crucial for Brazil’s economy, which relies heavily on commodity exports.
The order also streamlines the bidding process, which could generate nearly 25 billion reais ($8.1 billion) over the next three years, according to Transportation Ministry estimates.
The new rules make it possible to renew contracts for terms similar to the original agreements, as long as contractors fulfill their investment commitments.
Temer said the intent was to attract “job-creating investments” to deal with a 13 percent unemployment rate in the South American country, which has been mired in a two-year recession that some analysts say is starting to end.
Transportation Minister Mauricio Quintella said the new rules would allow contractors to start operations within 180 days of winning the bidding on a project, compared to the current process that requires up to three years to be completed.
“We want to promote competition, to offer full legal guarantees and to be aligned with modern practices in the most advanced nations,” Quintella said.
The new port industry rules will be complemented with additional measures to open the way for investment in roads and railways connecting to ports to expedite the movement of cargo, the transportation minister said.