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Partnering with Brazil on Infrastructure Development

Nathan Younge_Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean U.S. Trade & Development Agency
As a long-time reader of Brazilian Business magazine, it is clear that infrastructure remains a key theme on the minds of AmCham Rio’s membership. Another recurring theme is implementation financing. Today, project sponsors are interested in exploring new alternatives for structuring and financing their priority infrastructure projects.

The available solutions vary by sector, with projects in the airport, rail, port, highway, energy and water sectors each requiring unique financing structures and approaches. Ultimately, project implementation may involve public-private partnerships, project finance, commercial lending, multilateral development or national development bank financing, foreign direct investment, project sponsor resources, or some combination of all financing avenues.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency can be a useful partner for Brazilian project sponsors in terms of exploring financing alternatives and bringing projects to fruition. One way is through our early project preparation tools. USTDA’s early project preparation tools include grant funding for feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects. A Brazilian project sponsor (“grantee”) can be either a public or private sector entity. The firm that performs the analysis must be a U.S. firm, but the Brazilian grantee can select which U.S. firm conducts the analysis. This dynamic allows both the project sponsors, prospective lenders and investors to carefully evaluate the technical, financial, legal, regulatory and environmental aspects associated with their infrastructure project, and ideally catalyzes implementation. We carefully select projects to support where we believe there will be a natural synergy with U.S. technologies and services.

The Agency’s other approach for supporting priority infrastructure projects in Brazil is through bilateral partnerships and information sharing. We do this both through important initiatives such as the U.S.-Brazil Infrastructure Memorandum of Cooperation and the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership. Through both of these initiatives, USTDA, along with its interagency partners, is working closely with our Brazilian counterparts to evaluate best practices with respect to priority infrastructure projects. Financing and exchanging experiences will undoubtedly become an increasingly important theme under these partnerships.

Another tool we have is the ability to sponsor technical visits to the United States, which facilitates the process of sharing best practices and financing options. The Agency regularly funds customized visits to the U.S. for Brazilian project sponsors to explore cutting edge technology solutions, as well as financing mechanisms at their disposal.

With respect to information sharing, USTDA is pleased to have developed a transportation resource guide, which features rail, aviation, port and intelligent transportation projects considered to be good candidates for U.S. technologies and services. Our hope is that this resource guide will be helpful to U.S. companies seeking to understand the project opportunities available in Brazil, the processes for becoming involved and how the targeted projects might be structured or financed.

For more information about USTDA’s tools and services, please contact me at nyounge@ustda.gov or our in-country representative Rodrigo Mota at rmota@ustda.gov. We look forward to continuing our important work supporting Brazil’s infrastructure priorities and linking U.S. companies to these key opportunities, while bringing creative solutions for financing and implementation.



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