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Opinion

Siemens' Kaeser on infrastructure: A man in want of a plan in Brazil

Have the vision. Create the plan. Go and do it.

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It’s hard to say whether it was an inspired or terrible booking. But the presence of Joe Kaeser, president and chief executive officer of Siemens, on an infrastructure panel at the World Economic Forum’s Latin America meetings in São Paulo in March was eye-catching.

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Joe Kaeser,
Siemens

His apparent exasperation at being asked questions about how to improve international financing for Brazil’s huge infrastructure needs probably chimed with everyone in the room, as well as leading to the obvious question: what was he expecting from a WEF conference?

Because he was a clearly frustrated panellist; maybe his reserves of patience had been drained by a recent meeting that he mentioned with the Brazil’s president Michel Temer. “We need to not talk so much,” he declared, clearly putting the moderator on the back foot.

Every comment was blunt but to the point. The Brazilian government “lacks vision” and “just needs to develop an integrated infrastructure development plan” (spanning all the relevant ministries) and “abundant” money would come from international investors.


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