To Advance Brazil Needs to Triple Its Infrastructure Investments

Road paving in Brazil At the moment, Brazil is investing the equivalent of around 2% of GDP in infrastructure. The country must invest the equivalent of 5% to 6% of GDP in order to escape from its position as one of the countries with the poorest quality in infrastructure, says the president of the Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry (CBIC), Paulo Safady Simão.

Basing his comments on a 2009/2010 competitivity report out of the World Economic Forum that put Brazil in 17th place in infrastructure quality, tied with Colombia with a grade of 3.4 on a scale of 1 to 7, where the world average was 4.1, Simão declared that the next government will have to deal with this problem.

He said that although there is an enormous distance between Brazil and the leaders in infrastructure quality (France leads with a grade of 6.6, followed by Germany with 6.5 and the United States with 5.9), the World Cup and Olympic Games will provide opportunities for improvements.

Simão called on the Congress to approve a bill (“medida provisória” – provisional measure) that will establish the priorities that the CBIC clamors for: construction of ports and airports.

Oil Spill

Beaches in the area known as “Região dos Lagos,” where some of the most popular beaches in the state of Rio de Janeiro are located, were dirty with oil as the second week in August began.

Technicians from the state Environmental Institute (“Inea”) flew over the area Monday morning (August 9) and later in the day collected samples on at least five beaches (hardest hit were those located at Arraial do Cabo and Cabo Frio; at Praia do Peró, fishermen found dead penguins).

Spokesmen for Petrobras declared that the company was not aware of any problems at its installations.

Monday afternoon port authorities reported that the most probable origin of the oil was from tankers that did not properly clean their oil tanks. That was good news in the sense that it meant there was not going to be an environmental disaster as the amount of oil would be small.

Port authorities said they were checking ship movements over the last four days and continued collecting samples. Oil balls have washed up on the following beaches: Dunas and Forte, in Cabo Frio, and Prainha, Pontal and Foguete, in Arraial do Cabo.

Authorities from the environmental institute (“Inea”) warn bathers not to use solvent on their bodies if they get dirty with oil. The only safe way to remove the oil is with cooking oil.

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