AIVP Mission to Valparaiso
A delegation representing AIVP at the highest level took an active part in the work of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), which held its annual congress in Valparaiso (Chile) on 8 to 10 October 2018.
This 107th AAPA world conference was attended by nearly 700 delegates, port authorities and their partners from North, Central and South America. The event gave a chance for Philippe Matthis, Director General of the Port of Bruxelles and AIVP President, Mario Girard, CEO of the port of Quebec and AIVP vice-president for North America, Miguel Donadio, President of the Port of Bahia Blanca and AIVP vice-president for Latin America and Olivier Lemaire, AIVP Director General to meet up again only a few months after the AIVP World Conference at Quebec, held in June this year.
At this event held by AAPA, a partner association of AIVP since 2006, the AIVP team was particularly well coordinated: the Port of Bahia Blanca had a stand offering a practical facility for disseminating information, which supported not only a key-note speech by Mario Girard on the evolution of port-city relations and the active part played in these by AIVP, but also a session on specific cases moderated by Philippe Matthis.
Apart from offering a chance to make new contacts with a view to expanding the AIVP network in the Americas, it was a good opportunity to establish contact with several Latin-American members of AIVP. In this spirit a working meeting was organised with Gonzalo Mortola, President of the Port of Buenos Aires, active member of AIVP.
The situation of port-city relations in Chile lent the presence of AIVP at the meeting a special significance. For the first time, a country – Chile – has recognised the special importance of port-city relations by passing a law under which the country’s ten principal state-run ports are obliged to set up a City-Port Council to ensure the harmonious joint development of the two entities. Of course, AIVP is following with great interest these legislative developments and how they translate into reality.
The Port of Valparaiso, active member of AIVP, has ambitious development projects but they are a cause of serious conflict with the city, which has been classified by UNESCO as a world heritage city. Philippe Matthis explained AIVP’s expertise to Gonzalo Davignano, the port’s General Director, and offered the association’s help to try to unblock a situation which is highly prejudicial not only to the port but also to the sustainable development of the port city community as a whole. We will return to this situation.