Negative Message to Investors

For the Guatemalan business sector, the decision by Congress to vote against the bill granting the concession to rehabilitate and operate the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal highway "sends a negative message to potential investors."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The first positions emerge after learning that the Congress of the Republic buried the road project to rehabilitate and administer the highway Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal with toll collection, which would be granted in concession to the Consorcio Autopistas de Guatemala, under the format of Public-Private Partnership.

See "Politics vs. Development"

For the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (Cacif), with this action, motivated by ignorance, ideology or particular interests, legislators "have put at risk months of technical work and cause the country to risk the opportunity to have an innovative work and will contribute to the development of surrounding communities, among other benefits."

The refusal of the Congress took place despite the fact that the concession was granted in July 2018 through a public tender process to the Consorcio Autopistas de Guatemala, a business group that surpassed the proposals of Mota-Engil Latin America and Anas International Enterprise.

The Cacif statement explains that "... Therefore, the Organized Business Sector reports that:

-The way in which the vote took place is being legally analyzed because of the anomalies registered in the procedure. Therefore, we evaluate to act in this way against what happened in the plenary session of October 29.
-This attitude of the Legislative suggests that the decisions are linked to conflicts of interest with adjudications of works according to the current model not very transparent and open to corrupt practices.
-It is imperative that the model of public-private partnerships be revised to allow responsible approval processes free of conflicts of interest, provided that such projects are of public interest. The Public-Private Partnership model is undoubtedly a transparency mechanism for the development of the country's infrastructure. It is precisely the foregoing that makes the deputies oppose.
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More on this topic

Controversy Grows Over Highway Concession

November 2019

After the Guatemalan Congress voted against the bill granting the concession to rehabilitate and operate the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal highway, the winning company asks to return the process to third reading, but some deputies refuse.

Although the concession was granted in July 2018 through a public tender process to the Consorcio Autopistas de Guatemala, a business group that overcame the proposals of Mota-Engil Latin America and Anas International Enterprise, Congress voted against the bill that ceded in favor of the company the use of the road section.

Politics vs. Development

October 2019

The Guatemalan Congress voted against the bill that granted a private company the concession to rehabilitate and operate the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal Highway, which will require the presentation of a new bill to revive the road project.

Since the beginning of 2019, the spotlights were placed on this project, since in April members of the National Council of Alliances for the Development of Economic Infrastructure (Conadie) visited the Congress of the Republic, with the objective of knowing the progress of the initiative of the public-private alliance project, which at that time was in the hands of the Commission of Communications, Transport and Public Works.

Approval for Highway Concession

August 2019

After months without progress being reported in the process, the Communications Commission of the Guatemalan Congress issued a favorable opinion to the bill to rehabilitate and operate the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal Highway.

The procedure has been delayed by several months, as the dossier was submitted from 5 October 2018 and only on 6 August received a positive opinion from the Committee on Communications, Transport and Public Works.

Bureaucracy Threatens Highway Concession

March 2019

Because of the lack of progress in Congress and the fact that 2019 is an election year, there is a risk in Guatemala that the concession to rehabilitate and operate the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal Highway will not be granted.

In July 2018, the Consorcio Autopistas de Guatemala was awarded the contract for the rehabilitation, maintenance and administration of the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal highway, with toll collection.

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