At the 2011 ADIT Invest conference in Fortaleza, Brazil, numerous investors praised the country’s long-term investment potential, but were highly critical of its infrastructure, claiming it was a large barrier to foreign investors.

Gary Garrabrant, chief executive officer of private equity firm Equity International, said: “There are several constraints to investment in Brazil, and infrastructure is a big one. It is in all areas: transportation, mass transit, highways and especially its airports. Virtually all of the country’s airports need to be replaced, not just upgraded.”

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The country’s airports are unprepared for a large influx of tourists that a major sporting event will bring. Immigration queues can last as long as three hours under normal circumstances.

A spokesman from Brazil’s tourism ministry made assurances that the country would be ready and that it was fully aware of the infrastructure challenges it faced.

Foreign direct investment into the country’s infrastructure has been less prevalent, as traditionally investment into this sector has come from domestic investors or the government.