Sao Paulo to offer infrastructure projects to fuel recovery

SAO PAULO (AP) — The governor of Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s economic powerhouse, on Friday outlined his plan for post-pandemic recovery that depends largely on infrastructure investment.

Sao Paulo will offer concessions for 19 projects, more than half in transportation and mobility, Gov. João Doria said in a press conference. His aim is to attract 36 billion reais ($6.3 billion) in private investment over the next two years, including international capital.

Over the past decade, Brazil has repeatedly announced programs to auction off billions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects, but consistently under-delivered.

Doria said Sao Paulo will simplify its tax system, fast-track investments and promote de-bureaucratization to address reasons foreign investors have hesitated to step foot in Brazil. He will also open investment promotion offices in Dubai and Shanghai.

Sao Paulo’s gross domestic product — 2.4 trillion reais ($420 billion) in 2019, according to state data — is about one third the national total, and on its own almost the size of Argentina’s.