The Minister of Infrastructure of Brazil, Tarcisio Gomes de Freitas, today presented in CEOE the Concession Program for projects of roads, railways, ports and airports, during a meeting at the headquarters of the Business Confederation, organized by CEOE, the Secretariat of State of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, in collaboration with the Brazilian Embassy. The Vice President of CEOE and President of the Association of Construction and Concession Companies of Infrastructure (SEOPAN), Julián Núñez; the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Pedro Saura; and the director of International Relations of the Chamber of Commerce, Jaime Montalvo.
The president of the National Construction Confederation (CNC), Juan Lazcano, also intervened; the secretary of Parcerias of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Brazil, Natália Marcassa; the director of Infrastructure of the BNDES, Fabio Almeida; the director of the Secretary of Energy, Oil, Gas and Mining Program, Robson Eneas de Oliveira; and the Brazilian ambassador to our country, Pompeo Andreucci Neto. The meeting was closed by the permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado.
Concession Program in Brazil
The Brazilian Infrastructure Minister, Tarcisio Gomes de Freitas, highlighted that the Concessions Program that the Government has launched, with an estimated investment of 50,000 million dollars for projects of roads, railways, airports and ports. He also spoke of privatization in these sectors, which It represents important business opportunities for foreign companies. In this regard, he mentioned that Brazil is the third investment destination of Spanish companies, a country with which they maintain a strategic relationship, especially after the entry into force of the EU-MERCOSUR Agreement.
Gomes de Freitas informed about the auctions that have been carried out in 2019 for the construction of 12 airports, 13 ports, railway lines and roads. The Minister assured that only 41 concessions will be held in airports until 2022, ports will be rented for various activities during the same period and the construction of 16,000 new kilometers of roads is planned in four years. In addition, he insisted that The projects will also be structured based on their sustainability, ensuring the preservation and protection of the environment. In fact, he added, "45% of the energy consumed in Brazil is renewable."
The vice president of CEOE and president of the Association of Construction and Concession Companies of Infrastructure (SEOPAN), Julián Núñez, assured that there are currently seven large groups of Spanish infrastructure companies in Brazil, participating in 54 projects for a total amount of 6, 8 billion euros. Núñez insisted that “the exceptional technical and management capabilities of companies have allowed Spanish industry to lead large and innovative international projects that are recognized as world references in civil engineering.
Likewise, the Vice President of CEOE referred to the close relationship between the Confederation of Business and its Brazilian counterpart, CNI. Proof of this, he said, are the joint activities that have been organized, such as the I Spain-Brazil Forum in April 2017 in Sao Paulo, in the framework of the official visit of the President of the Government at that time, Mariano Rajoy.
As a follow-up, in October of the same year, the governor of Goiás visited CEOE, to present opportunities in railway projects in the Brazilian State; and in June 2019, a meeting was held with the special secretary of the Investment Partnerships Program, during which the portfolio of projects in Brazil and the main challenges of public-private partnerships were detailed.
The Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transportation and Housing, Pedro Saura, announced that after the meeting at CEOE, the Brazilian minister will hold a meeting with the Minister of Development, José Luis Ávalos, to discuss opportunities for bilateral cooperation in investment opportunities in sectors key of both countries.
Saura stressed that Brazil is the third destination of Spanish investment, and said it is a long-term investment, since it is a strategic country for us. He also stressed that the Spanish transport and energy industry is of high quality, thanks to the investment made during the last forty years. The Secretary of State said that "the best lever to improve the welfare of countries is the development of trade and internationalization", and therefore, he added, it is essential to strengthen both factors to make Brazil, Spain and the EU more prosperous .
In his speech, the director of International of the Chamber of Spain, Jaime Montalvo, recalled that the bilateral relations between Brazil and Spain have always been intense “and have had as one of the main axes the strong investment presence of Spanish companies in the country". In this regard, he highlighted the Spanish presence “in most of the fundamental sectors of the Brazilian economy. We are proud to see how Brazil sees Spain as a great ally in the field of infrastructure it plans, especially under public-private collaboration. ”
Montalvo also referred to the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement last June: “We believe in the enormous potential of the liberalization of trade in goods, services and capital between two markets of such a large dimension and that opens roads to insert our Companies in global value chains. With this agreement we expect not only an increase in trade but also in Brazilian investment in Europe, and specifically in Spain, since our country constitutes a strategic destination as a bridge to the European and African regions ”, assured.
The president of the National Confederation of Construction (CNC), Juan Lazcano, said that within the framework of the European Union, Spain is the country with the most extensive motorway and highway network (15,500km); with the highest number of km at high speed (2,852km); Madrid and Barcelona airports are at the forefront in the continent; and in terms of ports, freight traffic in 2018 was around 545 million tons and passenger traffic at 36 million.
Therefore, he stressed that Spanish construction companies have a presence in approximately 90 countries on five continents and carry out projects in virtually all areas of infrastructure, especially in transport (roads, railways or urban mobility), but also in sanitary, educational infrastructure, administrative or waste management, among others.
The permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado, considered that "investing in infrastructure in Brazil is not an alternative but a necessity in the face of the reality of the country." In this regard, he mentioned that the planned investments in the country are specified in 200 projects, included in the “Investment Partnership Program (PPI), and it is expected that, only in transport and logistics, 29,000 million dollars will be invested in the next years. He also highlighted the good moment of the electricity sector, in which the construction of new hydroelectric, thermoelectric, wind and solar parks, and transmission lines is being promoted.
Casado highlighted the numerous visits that have been made to Spain and CEOE by Brazilian authorities to present their various projects, such as the governors of Bahia, Goiás, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais. He also announced the next planned activities with governors, which will be organized as a follow-up to the Meeting and that show the great interest of Spanish companies in Brazil. From the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB), in collaboration with the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the organization and celebration of the next Ibero-American Forum of MSMEs in Brasilia is being planned in 2020.