Connect the dots: tackling the region's Achilles heel, construction companies race to improve roads and highways.Companies involved in infrastructure projects are on alert. Federal, state and municipal governments are improving highways, ports and airports, now that red-hot Asian economies are demanding Latin American oil, copper and other commodities.
The region is clearly playing catch-up. The World Bank figures Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. needs to spend the equivalent of at least 4% of its economic output on infrastructure to keep up. In the latter half of the 1990s, public and private investment was at 2.2%, a slip from a decade earlier, when spending was a still-slow 3.1%. As Chinese tankers line up to move raw materials east, however, money earned on booming exports is finally funneling back into projects.
Latin America and the Caribbean attracted almost half of the US$786 billion in infrastructure private investment flowing into developing countries during the 1990-2003 period, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the World Bank. But 93% of that took place in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico and mainly in the telecommunications and energy sectors as foreign privates bought out or rebuilt state-run operations.
That's changing fast. Brazil since has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars paving roads from its soy fields to its ports, revamping rail links and updating air and ocean terminals. Last year alone, the Transportation Ministry bid out $2.60 billion in infrastructure development projects, of which $1 billion went towards recovery and maintenance projects on federal highways. In 2006--an election year--the ministry has set aside $3 billion for infrastructure.
In Colombia, which just inked a new free trade deal with the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , work is under way building and repaving 3,160 kilometers of highways by 2009, a $770 million project. Argentina has said it will spend $3.60 billion improving infrastructure this year, too. Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Ecuador, among other countries, are undergoing multi-year projects worth billions to build or renovate airports across their countries. Brazil's state development bank BNDES BNDES Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Brazilian Development Bank)
BNDES Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Brasil) is even spending $480 million in Venezuela building a bridge and highway over the Orinoco River Orinoco River
Major river, South America. It rises on the western slopes of the Parima Mountains along the border between Venezuela and Brazil. It flows in a giant arc through Venezuela for about 1,700 mi (2,740 km) and enters the Atlantic Ocean near the island of Trinidad. , to create a new trade route for Brazilian soy.
Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht has been working on government projects in 18 countries over the last several years. "We make things happen with infrastructure, and this opens up a slew of possibilities for big projects with governments," says Andre Amaro Silveira, Odebrecht's export director.
With years of experience in the market, Odebrecht still runs into difficulties when dealing with the public sector, he says. "We have to tackle heavy technical requisites, tough competition and guarantee a good price at the same time," Silveira says. European and Japanese construction and engineering companies have a very strong presence in Latin America and can compete on cost due to exchange-rate advantages. That forces Odebrecht to make up for that difference by operating more efficiently, Silveira says.
"This is our backyard Our Backyard was a series for pre-school children which aired at lunchtime on ITV from August 1984 until January 1987.It was produced by Granada Television.
The format was simple. , but the competition that we face is very tough," Silveira says. In line with its competitors, 60% of Odebrecht's business in 2004 and in 2005 took place with the public sector in some way shape or form, be it with federal, state or municipal government or with state-owned businesses such as the federal oil company Petrobras or Furnas, a state-owned utility.
There are similar business opportunities in Latin America's other big economy, Mexico. Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo (GMD (company) GMD - Full name: "GMD - Forschungszentrum Informationstechnik GmbH" (German National Research Center for Information Technology).
Before April 1995, GMD stood for "Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung" - National Research Center for Computer Science, ), a Mexican engineering and infrastructure construction company, participates in open auctions at the federal and local levels across Mexico. The company also offers other services to attract government business, says Fernando Rodriguez, head of GMD investor relations Investor relations
The process by which the corporation communicates with its investors. . For example, it runs a water-distribution company in Cancun and waste-management companies in three Mexican cities. "We have vast experience in construction, and we are always looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. opportunities to get involved with infrastructure projects," Rodriguez says. "At the moment, we do not have projects in other countries, however, our strategy won't prevent us from going abroad in the future."
Investing more. Perhaps Ecuador would be a good foreign market to tap. The country's Minister of Public Works public works
Construction projects, such as highways or dams, financed by public funds and constructed by a government for the benefit or use of the general public.
Noun 1. and Communications, Derlis Palacios Guerrero, manages a $350 million budget for development projects through the end of the year, the bulk of which will find its way to the private sector for work in government-sponsored projects. "We are investing more than in previous years. If we compare recent investments with those from last year, we have $100 million more this year, and we will be able to execute investments of up to $500 million by the end of the year," says Palacios.
Neither the government nor the private sector have enough in their war chests, though, to meet all of the infrastructure needs of the country. To cover for the shortfall, Ecuador is working to secure loans from the Inter-American Development Bank Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
international organization founded in 1959 by 20 governments in North and South America to finance economic and social development in the Western Hemisphere. as well with the World Bank, both multilateral lending institutions Noun 1. lending institution - a financial institution that makes loans
financial institution, financial organisation, financial organization - an institution (public or private) that collects funds (from the public or other institutions) and invests them in , to move ahead on highway projects.
VIVIANE OLIVEIRA * MIAMI Miami, cities, United States
Miami (mīăm`ē, –ə).
1 City (1990 pop. 358,548), seat of Dade co., SE Fla., on Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River; inc. 1896.