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Private sector seen as crucial for Brazil sanitation targets

Bnamericas Published: Friday, September 28, 2018
Private sector seen as crucial for Brazil sanitation targets

The required investment to provide sanitation services for all Brazilians is so huge that the participation of private sector companies is crucial, according to Gesner Oliveira (pictured), a former president of São Paulo water utility Sabesp.

Brazil needs to increase investments by 62% a year in order to achieve the universal service targets set out in the national plan for basic sanitation by 2033, according to industrial confederation CNI.

"Private sector companies play a key role. They have the capacity to obtain financing and capital. It is something that municipalities don't have. Many public companies, most of them, do not," said Oliveira, who is currently the head of local business consultancy GO Associados, in an interview for CNI.

"For this reason, it is fundamental that the private sector participate in the different partnership models, in financing, operations, maintenance and introducing innovation on the commercial side to expand services."

Brazil's sanitation sector is dominated by state-run companies, while private sector firms account for less than 10% of the segment.

According to Oliveira, Brazil needs better projects and regulations to attract more investment.

"Although there is money to invest, there is a lack of planning and project management. Of course there are positive examples, but unfortunately, there are many cases of companies that are in a very poor situation from the point of view of management in the public sector," he added.

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