The Government of Bolivia and the French firm Paris Airports International (ADP) took this first step on Monday for a long-term alliance with a view to transforming the airport of Viru Viru, the largest in the South American country, into a hub or center of regional air connections for passengers and cargo.
Bolivian Ministers of Development Planning, Mariana Prado, and Public Works, Oscar Coca, signed a memorandum of understanding with an ADP representative, Fernando Echegaray, at an event in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, where Viru Viru is located, in the presence of the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales.
This document is the "formal and official" first step to "establish a long relationship, aiming to consolidate the signing of the Joint Investment Strategic Alliance Contract," according to a statement from the Ministry of Planning.
Minister Prado stressed that they had the mission of seeking "an international company that knows air flows, has a commercial strategy and shares" their knowledge to "develop the potential" of Viru Viru.
The authority indicated that operators interested in the project were asked to adapt their proposals to the Bolivian reality, with basic elements such as respecting local regulations, helping to empower the state-owned Bolivian Aviation (BoA) and attracting other operators Aerial
It was also sought that the chosen company contribute "significant investments" during their stay in the country, that they know the challenges of forming a public and private alliance "and that link Bolivian companies and workers in their proposal," he added.
The French firm was chosen among twenty companies that expressed interest in the project, following a "rigorous evaluation process" carried out by Planning and Public Works.
According to Prado, ADP "complies with all the conditions requested", so he expressed his confidence that from the signing of the document, a "virtuous joint investment strategic alliance will be established and that it will benefit all Bolivians."
In turn, Echegaray expressed the "great joy" of ADP for having been selected by Bolivia for the project and stressed that the French group "has more than 70 years of history."
"As an airport operator, we are perfectly aware of the importance of the mission that you have entrusted to us, to develop your first showcase in front of the world," said Echegaray.
ADP's tasks will be "to establish new infrastructures capable of accommodating the growing demand, increasing logistics and cargo capacity, implementing new technological solutions and guaranteeing an exceptional experience" for airport users, the executive added.
In addition, he committed investments in the growth of human capital and said they will make Viru Viru "a pioneer airport in environmental protection."
In April 2016, the Morales Government hired the Chinese company Beijing Urban for the development of Viru Viru, but decided to rescind the document six months later because the Asian firm incurred several breaches, Bolivian authorities reported at the time .
A new tender for the project was pending since then.
. (tagsToTranslate) French (t) ADP (t) will convert (t) Bolivian airport (t)