RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government Thursday announced a plan to invest 54 billion reais (26 billion U.S. dollars) in ports across the country.
The move is part of the government's strategy to improve logistics structure and make the industrial sectors more effective and competitive.
Port Secretary Leonidas Cristino said that 31 billion reais will be invested by 2015 and another 23.2 billion reais by 2017.
"We need to stimulate private investments, modernize infrastructure and port management and we need more cargo movement with lower costs," said Cristino.
Most of the money will be channelled into ports in the southeastern region.
According to Cristino, two ports in Ilheus of Bahia state and Imbituba of Santa Catarina state will be transferred to private operators.
Three new ports, which are expected to cost some 4.3 billion reais, will be built in the towns of Manaus, Porto Sul and Aguas Profundas and later run by private operators as well.
The government said its investments in ports, roads and railways are expected to reduce transportation costs in the country by 20 percent. (1 U.S. dollar = 2.08 reais)