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  • LN OEC article: building has never been as important as it is now

    DATE: 12/08/2022

    Published by: OEC

    Mauricio Cruz Lopes – Business Leader at OEC Engenharia e Construção

    Pandemic, war, political polarization, stagflation, with low economic growth or recession, are worldwide challenges that impact the markets where we operate. A challenging scenario, but one that did not diminish our optimism, on the contrary, it increased our will to perform, realizing the latent opportunities that present themselves. One of them is the need to resume investments in heavy construction, as a lever to generate jobs and boost the economy, a process that necessarily implies the exercise of complementarity between public and private actions.

    I fully believe in the transforming capacity of free enterprise. But even among the most liberal, and here I quote the Scottish thinker Adam Smith, one of the fathers of this doctrine, the State cannot do without the obligations that are its responsibility. “According to the system of individual liberty, the ruler has only three duties of great importance: the defense of society against external enemies, the protection of each individual from the offenses that may be directed at him by other individuals, and the provision of public works that could not be performed if entrusted to private initiative,” Smith argued. Focusing my attention on this third point, I agree with the analysis and consider it to be still very current.

    Brazil, in particular, has advanced a lot with the new sanitation framework and the concessions agenda. Currently 70% of the OEC – Engineering and Construction project portfolio, in Brazil, is from private clients, companies such as New Fortress Energy, Eurofarma, Braskem, and Acelen, among others. Examples of organizations that continue to believe, expand, and increase their production.

    Even so, today we are experiencing one of the lowest infrastructure investments in recent history, in Brazil and in Latin America. This fact has been ratified by studies from sector entities, academia, and economic agents. It is necessary to modernize, to revise the rules, to be creative, without getting into fiscal irresponsibility, to rebalance the balance and ensure the State’s due role in generating development in all regions, from the poorest to the richest.

    The infrastructure sector, with its large, medium, and small construction companies, is prepared to do its part. Brazil continues to maintain a differentiated know-how in engineering and the proof is the achievements in the present. Even under a challenging scenario for the entire market,  OEC alone, from June 2021 to July 2022, acting with a strategic focus in Brazil, Africa, the United States, Peru, and Panama,  generated revenues of BRL3.4 billion, delivered 11 projects to its clients and to society, and incorporated BRL5.2 billion in new contracts to its project portfolio.

    A survey produced by the National Union of the Heavy Construction Industry (Sinicon) reveals that for every BRL 1 million spent on construction, there is an increase of BRL 1.4 million in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the generation of 34 new jobs. Not to mention the direct and indirect impacts along 32 production chains related to the sector. Good infrastructure is fundamental for the economy, for people’s quality of life, and for preserving the environment. Building has never been more important than it is now.

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