Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager of the Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura, introduces us to his organization the vocation of which, in connection with the AIVP, is to work for the economic and social development of both his city and region. Contributing to the reduction of social inequalities through concrete actions is the watchword of the General manager whose port company has notably established, via its foundation, an educational and innovation center for the sustainable development of the region.
The Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura is an active member of AIVP
AIVP – You have just joined AIVP. Can you explain to the other members of our international network how your company came into existence and what it was formed to do?
Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager, Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura – The Buenaventura Regional Port Company was formed in 1993 to run the concession of the Buenaventura Marine Terminal. Today, 28 years after our foundation, we have consolidated our position as a player in the economic and social development of Buenaventura and the region.
We believe firmly that, that through port operation, we must continue to generate a positive impact on the city of Buenaventura, from creating jobs to contributing directly to closing some of the social gaps that exist in the city. In line with this belief, our mission is based on generating competitiveness and value for our customers, allies and shareholders, by providing world class port services and logistical solutions, promoting the full development of our human talent in a socially responsible, sustainable environment. So we work day in, day out to be the number one ally of integrated development in our region, contributing to the economy, employment and social issues such as education through our Foundation.
AIVP – Why did you decide to join AIVP, and what do you expect of our worldwide network?
Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager – At SPB we understand the progress made in ports, and the direct relationship between city and port; so we believe that it is time to take concrete steps for the future of Buenaventura as a port city, and as a node for the country’s economic development.
With the vision and guidance of AIVP, an organisation with expertise in bringing to life the concept of a port city from the angles of both urban and sustainable development, we will be able to achieve our goal of workng in coordination with the local authorities and other public and private bodies that want to cooperate in designing a Pacific Region that is more competitive overall.
On 2nd March 2022, our new member organized a forum around the city-port relationship, referred to as the port district vision, in the presence of the Mayor of the city, Mr. Víctor Hugo Vidal, the General Manager of SPR Buenaventura, Mr. Gustavo Dulcey, the Dean of the University of the Pacific, Environmental Engineer, Arbin Valverde Solís and José Sanchez, our Director of Agenda AIVP 2030, Projects and Content, provided an intervention with examples of experiences in various contexts in order to inspire action.
Based on this projection of the future, we want Buenaventura as a city, and its people, to be involved in the port sector, and to get the maximum benefit from it, from the perspective of sustainability and the common good.
AIVP – What can you contribute to AIVP?
Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager – This is one of the biggest multi-purpose terminals in Colombia and the Pacific Region. Our 28 years of experience have established the company as an expert in cargo handling; we have accepted technological progress and we apply it in our operations. So our contribution to AIVP will certainly be to share the lessons of our moments of success and resilience, from which we have learnt to grow together with all our employees. We can only operate thanks to them.
AIVP – Since its constitution, Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura S.A. has included the areas of Environmental Protection and Occupational Health in its basic structure”: this commitment is in line with Objective 10 of the AIVP Agenda 2030, “Restoring and protecting biodiversity on land and sea in port regions and cities”. Can you give us a couple of examples to help us understand the solutions that you are developing?
Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager – We know, and we are conscious of, the importance of looking after our water resources and the environment in general. For this reason we work in coordination with different control bodies, such as the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) which is responsible for ensuring that projects, works or activities for which an environmental licence, permit or declaration is required comply with environmental regulations and so contribute to the country’s sustainable development. In this way we express our commitment, and promote and protect biodiversity, to ensure that Buenaventura Bay remains a source of wonder at both international and local levels.
AIVP – Civic commitment is also one of AIVP’s principal values. We have heard about the initiative carried out in Buenaventura, with its Education and Innovation Centre for Sustainable Development, a space that helps to improve educational quality and community development. Can you highlight the principal aspects of this commitment and the ambition of your Port Company in this field?
Gustavo Florez Dulcey, General Manager – As we have said, one of the main objectives of Buenaventura Port Company is the overall development of Buenaventura as a community. For this reason, in July 2021, through the offices of our Foundation, we opened the Education and Innovation Centre for the Sustainable Development of Buenaventura Bay.
The purpose of this mega-project is to offer the children and young people of Buenaventura a single educational space that brings together a set of elements that will help to stimulate the innovation and creativity of schoolchildren and students, in the recognition that education is fundamental for the future of the city and its people.
The Education Centre involved developing a strategic plan that fitted the social and economic needs of Buenaventura; it required an investment of more than $19 billion pesos (equivalent to 4.7 million USD), for the benefit of 2,500 citizens of Buenaventura. These schoolchildren and students now enjoy better educational tools, which will help them to become better professionals in future.