Government in race against time to privatize Latin America’s biggest port

In a mad dash before the end of President Bolsonaro's term, the government is hoping to push through a number of privatization processes — among them the Port of Santos, the biggest of its kind in Latin America

bolsonaro Port of Santos. Photo: Brastock/Shutterstock
Port of Santos. Photo: Brastock/Shutterstock

On his final day as Infrastructure Minister on March 30, Tarcísio de Freitas enthusiastically banged the gavel to close the bidding in Brazil’s first port privatization auction. The event was considered a success by the government, with a total of 41 bids and concessions for the ports of Vitória and Barra do Riacho, in Espírito Santo state, granted to the private sector for the next 35 years. Mr. Freitas was thrilled. 

“It’s going to be a spectacle,” he said, visibly excited, about the government’s timetable for further privatizations.

For the remainder of this year, the government plans to auction off...

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