On Thursday, government officials from the U.S. and Brazilian governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support U.S. investment in Brazilian infrastructure projects, BNAmericas reported this week. The MOU will confer Brazil with greater access to financing through the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

This latest overture of U.S. officials to Brazilian infrastructure funding may be viewed as an attempt to rival or counterbalance recent efforts by China to develop and promote its own interests in Latin America through increased infrastructure spending.

Late last month, foreign ministers of China and Brazil met in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, where Chinese envoy Wang Yi appealed for more cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure, mining and agriculture. Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo affirmed at that time that Brazil is keen to attract foreign investment in its infrastructure. The country faces a reported infrastructure spending gap of $150 billion, or 2.5% of its GDP.

Earlier this year, the Brazilian government announced that it would offer up as part of its private/public infrastructure investment program (PPI) six port terminals, 22 airports and 14,500 highway kilometers to private investment.

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