Brazil's Construction Industry

Carlos Nazario
Brazil is a strong global competitor with good potential for sustainable growth and prosperity. The construction industry is reaping the benefits.

The largest Latin American economy, Brazil has remained robust during world economic downturn. As host nation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the country is further accelerating economic development to meet infrastructure needs.

The Brazilian government has pledged to spend $69 billion improving Brazil's transportation systems by 2014, while the infrastructure budget for the Olympics alone is $14.2 billion. These high-profile events, with their fixed deadlines, bring a new emphasis on regulation, risk assessment, quality and safety in the construction industry. The legacy impact should continue long afterward, as the country seeks to maximize its economic potential.

As host nation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics, the country is further accelerating economic development to meet infrastructure needs.

The sporting events are just one growth driver in a country which has become an important global player. Mineral resources are extensive and the energy industry has been successfully developed. Brazil has transformed itself from a major oil importer to an important oil and gas producer in the region, as well as the world’s second-largest ethanol fuel producer. The pharmaceuticals industry is growing, attracting global pharma giants, and Brazil also has a diverse services industry.

The manufacturing industries also play a vital role in Brazil’s prosperity. Steel, chemicals, petrochemicals, aircraft, automobiles and electrical goods all remain strong in an increasingly dynamic and competitive global arena. As a resource-rich nation with an attractive market for investment, Brazil now has an opportunity to significantly expand its global manufacturing competitiveness by developing its physical infrastructure and education system.

Large untapped reserves of land and water, together with farming technology and expertise, point to potential for significant further agricultural growth.

Already the world’s biggest exporter of sugar, chicken, beef, and coffee, the outlook for the country’s agriculture and agribusiness markets is very optimistic. Large untapped reserves of land and water, together with farming technology and expertise, point to potential for significant further agricultural growth.

Brazil’s domestic industry has faced challenges as a result of both foreign competition and historical internal restraints. Political and institutional shortcomings have improved in recent years, however, and the demands of a rising middle class have prompted the government to make progress with transportation, health and education services. Greater political accountability and more transparent public sector expenditure are now on the country’s agenda. Regulatory governance has improved, making the country more attractive to inward investors.

Already relatively strong in technology and innovation, Brazil is now benefiting from the experience and skills brought into the country via global inward investors.

Factors likely to influence Brazil’s manufacturing industry competitiveness in the next few years include its physical infrastructure, its skills resource and its energy competiveness. Increased economic stability has enabled heavy investment in new equipment and technology. Already relatively strong in technology and innovation, Brazil is now benefiting from the experience and skills brought into the country via global inward investors.

In 2010, Faithful+Gould established a base in Rio de Janeiro in response to our global clients’ needs, after supporting projects in Brazil via our North America offices for several years. Our initial move into Rio underpinned our role as project management office consultants for Michelin's global capital investment program. We established strong local capacity, working with a major lubricant manufacturer and a global pharmaceutical company among others in our client portfolio. In 2013 we opened a base in Sao Paulo and we are now moving forward into other sectors such as agribusiness and hospitality.

Factors likely to influence Brazil’s manufacturing industry competitiveness in the next few years include its physical infrastructure, its skills resource and its energy competiveness.

Our most recent commissions include cost management for a world-leading agribusiness company’s largest manufacturing project in Brazil, and project management for a leading global hospitality brand. We have built a sound understanding of project and cost management in many of the sectors that make up Brazil’s manufacturing and commercial construction markets and we anticipate increasing demand for this expertise.

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