One of our readers wrote a comment recently that the expression “infrastructure of cambodia, prices of St. Tropez” was how his wealthy Russian friend described Brazil after a recent visit to Bahia. Although the comparison sounds somewhat exaggerated, we thought the expression was descriptive enough to become the title of a post to show how the “cambodian-style” infrastructure in Brazil is a drag in the economy. Hence, let us describe this issue by providing a simple example of a bottleneck on development: the railroad system.
A survey by the Brazilian National Confederation of Transport shows that the “turtle-speed” freight rail lines has been getting worse. Eight of the 13 railroad lines surveyed lost performance in 2010 when compared to 2009 (see below). The trains that carry products such as soy, corn and steel travel on average 25 km/h. When one thinks it can’t get worse… in Brazil, it does.