It was not too long ago that the infrastructure and construction boom in the UAE and the surrounding Gulf Region was all the rage. Take a look at this segment from a Discovery Channel special on Dubai to see what I am talking about:
Over the course of my conversations with civil engineering professionals I always like to ask what their take is of the marketplace and how things are going in their regions and where they see the next big area of growth (from both a disciplinary and geographical perspective). Over the course of the past week or so I have spoken with engineering professionals and executives at numerous consulting firms who alerted me to the fact that Brazil is booming and the demand for new and upgraded infrastructure is strong; as a result, they had recently, or were in the process of, setting up shop there. Now, that same demand can be said for the US as well, but as you well know, the Federal government all the way down to local municipalities are so strapped for cash that nothing much is being accomplished when it comes to improving our infrastructure. So while we sit around with our hands tied as our interstate highway system is at or exceeding capacity, while more and more US bridges become structurally deficient, and while the concept of a US high-speed rail system continues to receive much scrutiny and criticism, Brazil has a World Cup to host in 2014 and an Olympic Games to host in 2016; can you imagine the beating that their infrastructure will take (even if it is only for small period of time)? And with these major events come a true sense of urgency for all things infrastructure …and more importantly, the deep pockets to support them! Brazil’s National Development Bank (BNDES) will likely lend $29B for infrastructure in 2012, and the Brazilian government is projected to spend $25.3B on their national rail network alone by 2014.
With the onslaught of visitors expected, the infrastructure will need to meet the demands. Airport expansions are underway often with monorail systems; construction of hotels, stadiums, commercial and retail centers is booming; rail, urban transit systems and traditional highway and roadway projects are abundant, and there is a healthy investment in water and wastewater infrastructure. And, according to an October 2011 article on Investopedia.com,
“The sporting events are just the beginning to Brazil’s infrastructure build-out. Last year, outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, launched a $900 billion infrastructure plan which focused on improving transportation, electrical supply and the nation’s ports. Similarly, current President Dilma Rousseff, has also pledged to improve infrastructure via massive public works plans.”
With all of the investment in infrastructure, Brazil will be poised for economic growth for generations to come.
If it hasn’t already been pounded into your head by now, we are a global economy and as opportunities arise in overseas markets for a struggling civil engineering and construction community here in the US, why not take advantage of these types of opportunities? What has YOUR company done to get a piece of that pie? And from a career standpoint – if you are looking for adventure, what a great opportunity!