08 abril 2013

Mais um ranking fajuto deixa Brasil como último entre os BRICs

Mas analista do Financial Times discorda e ironiza: "fala sério". 
Como exemplo, diz que se a infraestrutura da Índia fosse transplantada para o Brasil, o país parava do dia pra noite. 
Cita o exemplo das estradas: a Índia tem uma única grande rodovia em padrões parecidos com as que o Brasil tem, por exemplo, em estados como São Paulo.

Brazil’s infrastructure worst of the Brics? Get real!

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Rankings from the World Economic Forum show Brazil as lagging far behind the Brics countries on almost every aspect of infrastructure – the subject of a beyondbrics Chart of the Week. Er … excuse me? I beg to differ.

Brazil’s infrastructure is poor, even dismal in some cases, but this is more relative to its own needs and its income level as a country with a per capita income level among the Brics second only to Russia. At least in my experience, it is not bad in absolute terms when compared with many other developing countries, particularly those in the poorer parts of Asia, such as India.

Before I continue, my point here is not to badmouth India but to lend a bit of reality to such competitive rankings, which often make sense on paper but – anecdotally at least – sometimes look like nonsense.

For example, anyone who spent a week in São Paulo, Brazil’s richest state, and then went to Maharashtra, the state that is home to India’s business capital, Mumbai, would not dare to claim that India’s roads are leagues ahead of Brazil’s. India has only one highway that could match any of the major freeways in São Paulo: the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

I experienced the quality of India’s highways firsthand when I rode in a truck between two of its most industrialized states, Maharashtra and neighbouring Gujarat. It was during the most humid period before monsoon. Most of the trucks there do not have air conditioning because companies rarely consider their drivers’ comfort and well-being. We hit a traffic jam at a toll booth and spent three hours there choking on the fumes until 4am in the morning. Then we drove on, dodging craters in the highway of a size one would normally expect in a war zone, and nearly hit another truck cheerfully parked in the middle of the road with its lights off.

Of course, similar scenarios might occur in some of Brazil’s poorer states. Brazil’s vast expanse is full of rutted or unsurfaced roads (though most of them are still far better than anything in India’s interior). But I would compare the two most developed regions of either country.

I find the rankings hard to believe on other measures too, such as ports and even air travel. Air traffic congestion was so bad in Mumbai that I remember circling for hours above the city, especially during monsoon, waiting for a landing slot. Planes were always late, rather than late a quarter of the time, as in Brazil. Efficient transport links to and from airports does not exist in India anymore than it does in Brazil.

This is not to say that India has not made big jumps in infrastructure in recent years. It has probably got the lead on Brazil now in the quality of its airports after renovating those in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. India also has the golden quadrilateral highway project, with dual carriageways linking four of its major cities. And India of course, also has its trains, which are the envy of many other countries and an area in which Brazil does seriously fall down (it hardly has any).

The purpose also is not to overlook Brazil’s shortcomings. The country is in danger of coming to a standstill as 10 years of growth in its commodities and agriculture sectors and of its middle classes are threatening to overwhelm its roads, airports and ports. It needs to invest urgently and invest big if it is to continue growing.

But its problems are relative to its own needs. If India’s existing infrastructure was transferred to Brazil tomorrow, the Latin American country would stop functioning overnight. If Brazil’s were transferred to India? My bet is that, although the trains would definitely be missed, motorists and logistics companies there would be thrilled.

From Financial Times, Apr 1, 2013 2.
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