Politics vs. Development

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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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.

At the beginning of August of this year, the project that consists of the rehabilitation, administration, operation, maintenance and complementary works of the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal highway with toll collection, saw a light on the road, since after months without progress being reported in the process, the Communications Commission of the Congress issued a favorable opinion to the bill.

The last significant event was reported during the legislative day of October 29, in which 32 deputies voted in favor of the bill, 50 legislators demonstrated against it and 76 others were absent, so that the project promoted by the Alliance for the Development of Economic Infrastructure (Anadie) was buried, after several months of waiting.

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

René Muñoz, director of corporate affairs for Convía, the company executing the project, told Prensalibre.com that "... Congress has the power to approve or disapprove a public-private partnership, but I think the company has done an excellent job of presenting all the points based on the project's bidding bases, including the highest canon in the entire region and that benefits the country."

Muñoz added that "...'Fulfilling everything the law asked of us, it is disappointing to see how a vote was made to the race and Congressman Oliverio Garcia Rodas asks that it be counted because there are not enough deputies as mentioned on the board and the person who held the presidency, who was a lady, ignores and continues, when watching the video seems to be right the deputy."

More on this topic

Negative Message to Investors

October 2019

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."

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.

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.

Pressure to Approve Highway Concession

April 2019

Authorities in Guatemala verify the progress of the bill for the rehabilitation and operation of the Escuintla-Puerto Quetzal Highway, which was presented to Congress six months ago and have yet to make a statement.

Members of the National Council of Alliances for the Development of Economic Infrastructure (Conadie) attended the Congress of the Republic, with the objective of knowing the progress of the initiative of the project of public-private alliance, which was presented since October 5, 2018 and is in control of the Commission of 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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